• T.ur, Off Road Skills, Devitt Insurance, Michelin, Endurotyres.com, Nexus Leisure, Paul Earl Ltd, Valley Services, Kalehurst, Caterin Investments, Mobil-i, Liquitech, Bool Workwear, Occhnet, TCX Boots, Motorrad Tours, Hornbill Engineering
2019: Merzouga Rally (33rd)
2018: Welsh Enduro Championship (4th in class)
2017: Welsh Enduro Championship (3rd in class), Serres Rally (33rd)
2016: Welsh Enduro Championship (2nd in class)
2015: Serres Rally (27th)
2014: Serres Rally (39th), British Rally Championship (7th in class)
“Where I'm from, doing the Dakar isn't the dream”
Having grown up playing rugby in the Welsh valleys, Simon Hewitt's dreams for the future involved maybe starring for the British and Irish Lions, or perhaps becoming a rockstar. Little did he imagine he would one day be taking part in the world's biggest rally, which has never really stirred the UK's national consciousness. Simon first rode a friend's dirtbike at the age of eight and was given his own bike for Christmas two years later, which would eventually set him up for a career on two wheels. After a two-week placement under Australian Dakar legend Simon Pavey at BMW Off Road Skills -where he now works full-time- the 29-year-old took part in his first enduro in 2008 and his first international rally in 2014. With fellow Off Road Skills instructor Neil Hawker, he is now preparing for the adventure of a lifetime: a first tilt at the Dakar. Riding a Yamaha WR450F prepared by the Dubai-based Crazy Camel Motorsports, run by James West, Simon will be attempting, first and foremost, to make it through to the finish line. History is certainly on his side. So far, he has completed all 72 of his race days, and that kind of consistency will come in very handy as he goes up against the Dakar.
“I've read a lot of Facebook and Instagram posts saying, 'it's always been my dream to do Dakar'. There's no way it was my dream, I grew up playing rugby in the valleys! Where I'm from, doing the Dakar isn't the dream, it's something other people do. Still, I had a vague plan to do it for a long time, at some point in the future. Neil saying he was going in 2020 put a bit of a target on it. He and I both work for Simon Pavey, we're instructors at his school. Neil had this five-year plan for Dakar 2020, but I was kind of like 'maybe, maybe not'. At that time, I wasn't at the level where I could hope to finish. But over the last five years I've just plugged away, doing different races here and there. Trying to improve my riding, fitness, that kind of thing. It was about two years ago that I said, 'it's on, let's do it'. So here we are. We both did Merzouga in April which was awesome. We were on the same team and met a lot of riders and team members who will all be at Dakar. Neil's a lot faster but he's doing Original by Motul, so that's a small advantage for me! Finishing is the goal. Unfortunately, I broke my collarbone about four weeks ago. I was training in Dubai and just had a little off and ended up in hospital. It was a bit of a drama, I had an operation there to get it fixed. Then I went to Australia for a friend's wedding and I had to have it redone in Sydney. When I got back, I went to see Brian Simpson, who's a pretty renowned physio for these kinds of injuries. It's way better now. I'll be back on the bike in December and I'm already back in the gym. There's no pulling out now, I'm going to be on that start line whatever! It's going to be harder than anything I've done before, in every aspect. But I feel like the races I've done so far and the work I've put in already will stand me in good stead. I'll give it everything and see what the race throws at me."
DRAG'ON RALLY TEAM
- Mark : YAMAHA
- Model : WR450F
- Performance tuner : Crazy Camel Motorsports
- Assistance : Crazy Camel Motorsports
- Class : G2.1 Super production
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Hewitt gains experience
For his first Dakar, English rider Simon Hewitt has had plenty to deal with. A fan of rugby rather than dunes when he was younger, he has experienced two difficult stages so far and has now ground to a halt after 23 kilometres of the day’s special due to a fuel intake problem on his Yamaha. It seems like he has another difficult day ahead in store...
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