The most unforgiving off-road race series known to riders is the Dakar Rally. Participants from all across the globe get a taste of what this gruesome rally is all about and how challenging it becomes for the man on the saddle and the machine. The Indian Baja Dakar Challenge, which is now in its second season to be held from 7th April to 9th April, 2017 will be a test of these abilities in the country. Fresh talent will also be able to showcase their off-road skills in the two-day event in Jaisalmer and while the winner would receive a grand prize of Rs 13.80 lakh (20,000 euros) and participation in the 2017 Merzouga Rally as well as the 2018 Dakar Rally.
The two-day race will cover 630 km including a 200 km liaison in Jaisalmer itself and over 100 competitors will test their abilities in this challenge. The four-wheeler category winner would automatically get an entry into the 2018 Desert Storm Rally.
Joaquim Rodriguez Pedrero will be representing Hero Motorsports Team Rally while Adrien Metge and Aravind KP would be participating from TVS Racing. Winner of the first season of the Indian Baja Rally will be sitting this one out due to a neck injury that he suffered due to a crash in the recently concluded Desert Storm event. Along with the known veterans, seasoned participants, R Nataraj and Abdul Waheed Tanveer would also be representing TVS Racing.
The Indian Baja Rally to be held for two days covering 630 kms will only be a taste of what the Dakar Rally is all about. The Indian Baja Rally's preparation took 150 days with almost 50 days of field recce. A team of 100 volunteers, 50 official vehicles, 10 fully equipped ambulances and 20 trained paramedics will also be a part of the 2017 Indian Baja Rally.
Held since 1979, the Dakar Rally is considered to be one of the most grueling races in the off-road races held globally. The competing classes in this rally are quads, motorcycles, trucks and cars, all customised to take on the off-road tracks. It has also seen almost 28 competitor fatalities wherein 19 were from the motorcycle category, six from the car category, one from trucks and two from local rebel conflicts in the earlier times.