“If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough!”
Philip Turner has always had a keen sense of adventure, and the 52-year-old is now gearing up for what he believes will be his wildest experience to date: competing in the Dakar. He has been following the world's biggest rally since the early days in Africa, although it was only four or five years ago that he began to seriously consider participating himself. Having taken the time to learn the ropes and worked his way up through the Tuareg Rally, the Morocco Desert Challenge and the Africa Eco Race, the British rider is now ready to tackle the big one. He will be racing for the renowned Netherlands-based BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team, whose riders Ross Branch (13th) and Kenny Gilbert (19th) finished as the top two rookies in the bikes last year. It means a great deal to Philip to be finally fulfilling his dream of doing the Dakar, and he is relishing the prospect of discovering what Saudi Arabia has to offer during this first edition in the Middle East.
“I don't remember not watching the Dakar! I come from a very adventurous family and I tuned in throughout the 1980s. I've always looked at it and thought 'this is the ultimate adventure'. But it's quite hard to find time for it. Life gets in the way; we've all got families and jobs and stuff. I've had lots of other adventures -spending time in the Arctic, the jungle, the mountains, doing lots of endurance events- but this is really a culmination of everything. It combines endurance with an incredible physical, mental and mechanical challenge. It's my Everest, and it's actually probably harder than that! The thing I love is that when you're at the start line, you have your roadbook in front of you, but you actually have no idea where you're going. It could be through deserts, mountains, rivers, or a combination of all three. It's a really incredible way to see a country -especially Saudi Arabia, which is going to be spectacular. Nobody's been there yet so it's going to be really exciting. I hope that it goes back to how it was in the old days, with really long stages. I met Bart van der Velden from BAS when I bought my rally replica bike off him. It was in perfect condition, but it still took me three years before I was capable of riding it! He runs an amazing team, and at my age I want to be with a top-quality outfit. The bikes he prepares are massively high-quality, all of them finished the last Dakar. He's got a lot of experience and a great reputation, and the bikes are amazing. The good thing about them is they're very solid, so if you hit something you'll be able to shake it off; if you ride aggressively it's very forgiving. This has been a four or five-year project, and I'm excited for what it's going to be like. If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough!"
BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM
- Mark : KTM
- Model : 450 RALLY FACTORY REPLICA
- Performance tuner : BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team
- Assistance : BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team
- Class : G2.1 Super production
Get exclusive information