This category in the Dakar has existed since 2021, so this is the 3rd edition this year 2023.
Models that have already competed in the Dakar Rally, between 1979 and 1999, are allowed. This year, the sponsor is Jacky ICKX, recognized pilot and winner of the 1983 Dakar (with Claude Brasseur as co-pilot) but also 2 times vice world champion of F1, 6 victories in the 24h of Le Mans…
Different categories are available depending on the speed of the vehicles, it being understood that the disparities can be important. Our foxes had chosen to enter H0, the low speeds. After the prologue and seeing that they were starting after the trucks, they chose to move to the H1 category.
2 challenges are set up this year, and Frédéric and Magali participate in both.
The explanation of the Dakar.com website:
The « Authentic Codriver Challenge » concerns vehicles that take part without modern regularity instruments, globally reduced to the use of a simple stopwatch to calculate their rhythm.
The « Iconic Classic Club » classification will be open to original vehicles that actually participated in the 20th century Dakar, thus excluding all « replicas ». About ten crews have decided to register under these conditions.
What does a stage in Dakar Classic mode consist of?
Unlike the main categories, the Dakar Classic is based on points and not on time for the ranking. And the objective is to have as few points as possible! The points are distributed during penalties (passage point or passage time not respected…) They do not have to go fast at all costs to win as for the « normal » categories.
They also take a specific route, parallel to the normal Dakar. In the evening they all meet at the bivouac, the same for all competitors. (with some exceptions).
It is therefore regularity that is rewarded in the Dakar Classic, by respecting average speeds in given sections.
On the stage plans, we can read :
The green line corresponds to the link to reach the special stage.
SRT : Start of the special stage
TC2 : a timed passage point. They must be present at this point at a given time. If they are late, they have penalties.
RT 5.1: Start of a regularity section. They must cover a certain number of kilometers (42 here) in a given time. If they don’t respect it, they also have penalties. (the 5 is for the stage number)
NT 5.1 : Start of a navigation section, same principle ! Fred & Mag’s favorite events, not the stress of the clock!
DT 5.1 : Start of a Dune Test section. Frédéric and Magali chose not to do them (it is optional but to be mentioned at the beginning of the rally). They are not penalized because their H1 category can be exempted. They then take a « chiken way » in pink dotted lines, which allows them to reach the next stage point.
Even if the « race » part of the stage is between TC2 and TC3, they are obliged to arrive within the time limit at TC2 (TC1 being the exit of the bivouac).
The more they respect their time, the less points they accumulate… and the better it is for the final ranking!