Dakar Classic: a vast vintage adventure
October 27 th 2021 - 14:46
The Dakar Classic category, created for the 2021 edition and open to vehicles from the 1980s and 1990s pitted against each other in a race for consistency, taking place in tandem with the stages of the Dakar, has enjoyed broad appeal among classic car lovers. This year, 135 cars and 19 trucks are expected in Jeddah to tackle the twelve stages on the programme.
Among these enthusiasts, French drivers account for the largest contingent, with 47 registrations, followed by the Spanish (40) and the Italians (17).
One year on and the race has taken on a completely different dimension! This year the category that brings together vehicles from the 1980s and 1990s will be welcoming 150 crews, which promises to make this race for consistency a particularly intense competition. Nobody will take the achievement away from Marc Douton of being the first name engraved on the Dakar Classic roll of honour, but he will face much stiffer competition to defend his title. The French driver, who triumphed behind the wheel of a Sunhill buggy, has this year chosen a Porsche 911 “Safari” dating from 1985, which will be racing alongside its twin sister, already driven last year by American Amy Lerner. Vintage car enthusiasts will be delighted because they will also have the opportunity to see the tracks of Saudi Arabia graced by restored versions of several Peugeot 504s, Range Rovers from various eras as well as the more traditional Mitsubishi Pajeros and Toyota Land Cruisers. Also attempting to steal the limelight will be the Peugeot 205 T16 driven to Dakar triumph in 1987 by Ari Vatanen, driven this time by none other than Philippe Jacquot, the only French victor in the truck race in the 2007 edition. Indeed, vintage trucks will also be in the spotlight, starting with the double-cab DAF driven by Jan De Rooy in 1984, or also the Tatra 815 which wreaked so much havoc in the 1990s. Incidentally, co-pilot Josef Kalina, who accompanied Karel Loprais for half of his victories on the race, will again be in the cab, this time assisting Rado Kazarka.