The trailblazer from Bahrain
January 8 th 2020 - 08:10 [GMT + 3]
The Dakar's move to Saudi Arabia has been a source of inspiration and new adventurers.
He feels more satisfaction than pride. The first Dakar competitor from Bahrain, Salman Mohammed Fahran, is especially happy about the growing popularity of motor sports in the Gulf states. "Something has been stirring over the last three years", explains the 32-year-old. "More and more people are interested in competing and increasing numbers of people are training." It goes without saying that the Dakar in Saudi Arabia will be a catalyst for this trend. However, Salman Mohammed sees no geographical advantage: "We don't have dunes in Bahrain, so I have to go elsewhere to train, mainly near Riyadh. I also went to Spain to hone my navigation skills with Jordi Viladoms and recently took part in the Rally of Morocco." He finished 51st there. "The Dakar, however, is something else", says the man from Bahrain. "I must admit I didn't expect it to be so hard. It's not the navigation, it's the terrain. It's full of stones, I'd never got shaken up so badly before." However, Salman Mohammed Fahran finished the first two stages in the top 100. Yesterday, he went through the checkpoint in 120th place.