From December 31 to January 15: the race
Here you will find links to each article summarizing each day. Updated the same evening or the day after the stage!
FINISH PODIUM !
13TH STAGE (The last one!) : http://rallyefred.fr/14-01-2023-13th-and-last-stage-haradh-marathon-al-hofuf/
5TH STAGE : http://rallyefred.fr/05-01-2023-hail-hail-en/
4TH STAGE : http://rallyefred.fr/04-01-2023-hail-hail-en/
December 30, 2022 – The day before departure
In the morning, it is the last administrative checks to definitively validate the participation of the 738 crew in this 45th Dakar.
Today, the questions are mainly about navigation for Magali, who benefits from the experience of seasoned co-pilots and the optimization of the toolbox to take along during the event. And of course, storing the equipment that will travel in parallel.
For this race and contrary to the other categories, the Dakar Classic is a little less easy to follow for us who are not on the spot (no link for the trace, little live information)… But it seems that in the previous years the fox has left a trace… And the Buggy being a vehicle that attracts attention, it turns out that our crew should be followed a bit, especially by France TV, RedBullTV and maybe other media. We will keep you informed.
The Strakit also received its « Iconic » badge. Out of 88 competitors in the Classic category, only 15 have actually done a Dakar. The others are replicas. So there will also be a specific classification for the Iconic.
December 28 and 29, 2022 – The installation
After picking up the Buggy at the port of Yanbu, direction the Sea Camp, which will be the base camp of the Dakar caravan until the morning of January 2nd.
On the 80 kms of connection, a concern. The battery voltage is abnormally high, but the vehicle doesn’t seem to suffer from it. On arrival at the camp, it is one of the first things to do: call the technical team in France and benefit from the Dakar mutual aid to understand what is happening. After several checks and repair of one of the battery screws, everything is back to normal.
Fred and Mag found the atmosphere of the bivouac that they particularly like. People from Original By Motul (who take care of the motorcycle trunk riders, category where Fred was competing) and other participants they know.
They have to finish installing the last stickers on the vehicle, and especially the technical elements like the Tripty (which allows the organization to follow the pilots and the pilots to send information in case of problem for example).
On Thursday, it’s time for the briefings and the real life test! A track is specially designed for this purpose at Sea Camp. It’s also an opportunity to take pictures of the Buggy with its new colors and in its element.
The Buggy responds well, the gearbox is a bit long but Fred knows he can handle it. On the other hand, the front end, although raised at the time of the restoration, remains low. The Buggy jumps pretty quickly on rocks, so we’ll have to be very careful on the subject at the risk of abusing the vehicle.
It is also the opportunity for Magali to really get familiar with the roadbook and all the elements to take into account for the navigation. And there are many of them, much more than on a motorcycle according to Fred.
The wetsuits are also introduced! With the constant race before the start, Fred & Mag had no other opportunity than to try them on to check their size. So much so that when they were about to board the Strakit, Magali realized that the labels had not been removed!
RedBull TV came to follow our foxes, we are waiting for more information on how the images will be broadcasted… There are various media outlets following the competitors on site and it looks like the little Buggy 738 is catching the eye quite well!
After a general race briefing, a meal, sharing with other pilots, it is time to go to bed this Thursday night. The days are long even if they pass very quickly, and the heat is overwhelming. Once in the tent, it is also the opportunity to revise!