This is probably a good indication of just how crazy I can be. I signed up for another run at the Dakar in ’08. This year’s attempt will be with Rally Management Services. They run Team Rally PanAmerica, one of the few American efforts in the Dakar, and they’ll be supporting Jonah Street out of one of their service trucks. They’ll also be supporting American John Deykes and Australian David Schwarz.
Tim Hall, whom I met on the ’07 Dakar, put us together. I’ll be driving a service truck for Charlie Rauseo and Don Hatton. The really great part of this deal is that the mechanic riding in the truck will be Philip Symons, the brother of Elmer Symons who was killed on stage 4 of last year’s Dakar. Philip and I were in the service truck for Team JJE Racing last year and I haven’t seen him since we parted ways in Tangiers last year.
Dawn at Glamis Dunes
I’ve just spent 6 days in the Death Valley, California area with Charlie, Robb McElroy and some other riders doing a training exercise for the Dakar. We started in Bishop, CA and ended in Yuma, AZ with stops at Dumont Dunes and Parker, CA. It was a great time and good practice for all of us. Somehow sleeping on the ground for 6 nights didn’t seem so bad this year. Probably the medicinal beer and Jack helped sleeping. It was good to see some old friends (Des and Joe DesRossiers) from last year’s Dakar and make new ones. The training went surprisingly well with only one badly damaged Aprillia and no seriously damaged riders.
Next on the schedule is the Baja 1000. I’m joining up again with Ivor Wigham of the European Rally School to support Brian Street in his effort to run the Baja 1000 in a brand new T1. We’ll be driving chase for him. This year’s Baja will be a real monster. It’s the 40th anniversary of the Tecate SCORE Baja and they’re celebrating by lengthening the 1000 to 1,300 miles. It’s going to be a long, long race. More on that as we get closer to the start on November 10th.
That’s it for now. Gotta order lights for the new Subaru Forester XT that I just got for Alcan 5000 Rally Barbara and I are running in February, 2008. More on that later, too.