Bristow-Holmes was delighted to sponsor Jipocar Racing at this year’s 2017 Dakar Rally.
Asuncion (Paraguay) played host to the beginning of what is commonly known as the The World’s Toughest Endurance Rally Event with no more than 146 motorbikes, 37 Quads, 83 Cars and 50 Trucks taking part. With over 70 TV networks broadcasting over 1,200 hours of race footage in over 190 countries the Dakar is a prime medium for Bristow-Holmes and is the 2nd biggest motor race in the world.
The Dakar has now firmly established itself in South America having relocated from its ancestral home back in XYZ. With this year’s race passing through 3 countries in 12 days (Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina) and spanning some XYZ kilometres making it the longest in Dakar history.
Another unique feature of this year’s Dakar was over 6 days of competition at over 4,000m in altitude, something neither the drivers nor their vehicles were accustomed to.
Jipocar Racing were making their first foray into Dakar as a privateer with Junior World Rally Champion “Martin Prokop” in the driving seat along with the highly experienced WRC Co Driver “Ilka Minor”.
The first few days of competition proved extremely challenging as the initial humidity and muddy conditions of stage one (Paraguay to Argentina) changed drastically into the extremely dusty a dry conditions of northern Argentina.
As the rally progressed West into Argentina and subsequently North into Bolivia the team was well in the mix as the highest placed privateer in the Car Class sitting in 15th place at the midpoint of the Rally.
Despite several stage cancellations due to extreme weather (flooding) the team stayed in high spirits as they chased the first and main goal of all the Dakar Teams “Finish the Race”. As the days and stages drew to an end the team’s goals shifted from finishing to cracking the illustrious Top 10, something no Privateer or first time Dakar Team has ever managed to do.
Alas, the stage cancellations caught up on us and the reduction in racing kilometres on our favoured stages meant that we couldn’t quite crack the Top 10, our 11th place finish was something we are extremely proud of and we desperately look forward to coming back next year with a bit more experience and getting even higher up the honours list.
Scroll down to watch the Stage by Stage highlights below along with some photos of the team throughout the various days racing.