The 2019 Dakar rally kicks off today. This grueling marathon off-road rally is comprised of ten days/stages (with one rest day in the middle). Total off-road racing distance is 3,096 km or 1,935 miles, but racers also have to drive from one racing stage to the next. Total 2019 Dakar distance is 5,600 km (or 3,500 miles).
This year, the side-by-side class has 34 competitors, and Can-Am makes its presence known with majority of the competitors racing specially prepared Maverick X3 machines. Reinaldo Varela took the 2018 Dakar SxS win driving a Maverick X3, and the team is looking to repeat in 2019.
Naturally, it would be a race without competing manufactures. Many competitors are driving race prepared Polaris RZRs. Yamaha, Textron and others are also in play.
There is an American in the mix as well. The Can-Am team includes Casey Currie in a Maverick X3.
Preparations, check, verification, and scrutineering are complete. The images you see below are from the last several days, when Dakar organizers checked-in the racers and verified that the machines comply to regulations.
Robby Gordon is back in the race as well. He is driving a Textron Wildcat XX, but he is listed as a competitor in the Car division (not SxS division).
It’s time to race. We will provide you with regular updates as the race progresses.
Shocks are very important for off-road racing. We take a detailed look at the new active FOX shocks that you can purchase on a 2019 Polaris RZR XP Turbo S or a 2019 Ford Raptor.