Prepare yourselves, off-road race fans. The 2020 Dakar Rally is slated to start on January 5th, and this 12-day off-road event is like no other dust-covered desert race event on the planet. A rally where teams have zero idea where they are going… until the night before they depart for the next leg of their journey.
“It’s not so much a race as it is survival,” says Can-Am, “That’s why, since the first Dakar in 1977, racers and machines that conquer this challenge become instant legends.”
Hot on the heels of back-to-back Dakar side-by-side (SxS) category titles, Can-Am looks to take 2020 by storm with the world’s best racers, co-drivers, support teams, and UTV vehicles. Just last year, Can-Am dominated the sport, with 19 of the top 20 finishers in South America crossing the finish line in one of the company’s products. But 2020 is offering a very different twist, as the brutal conditions of the Saudi Arabian desert challenge man and machine alike via 5,592-miles of uncharted terrain. Quoting Can-Am directly once more, it appears that even the best SxS teams on the planet are preparing for the complete unknown.
“With all the unpredictability that this global endurance race offers, there are many things that are known and others that need to be ‘figured out.'”
Looking to show its dedication to the sport, and simultaneously bolster interest in the Dakar Rally, Can-Am created a dedicated Dakar 2020 landing page just for the event, because even the most enthusiastic off-road enthusiast might find this race to be a bit unusual. While most off-road races are typically a day or two, the Dakar Rally sticks with a nearly two-week-long event, where drivers and navigators strive to not only win but survive long enough to finish.
While buggies, trucks, quads, motorcycles, and side-by-sides are all optional modes of transportation, the Can-Am Maverick X3 has quickly become a favorite. Claiming back-to-back class wins after emerging on the race scene in 2017, the Maverick X3 has helped secure victory for a plethora of competitors, including the aforementioned 19 of the top 20 finishers in 2019. Once combined, this racks-up to damn near 100,000 off-road miles on the odometer, all achieved in 12 days.
If 12 days of unknown off-road rally action in some of the world’s most inhospitable terrain wasn’t enough, drivers also have to trust the knowledge of their co-driver. These are the ones deciphering maps, familiarizing themselves with onboard rally computers, and relying upon the contents contained within the folds of the Dakar Rally “Roadbook.” Oh and let’s not forget that drivers also have to fluently understand all manner of rally jargon being spewed, therefore making terms like “Bivouac, Liason, Special, Fesh-Fesh, and Parc-Ferme” core components of daily communication.
While Can-Am’s official kick-off for Dakar began on November 20th via a live Facebook watch party with none other than American Casey Currie. Born into a racing family (the name Currie Enterprises ring a bell?), Casey Currie has won countless races and created wild off-road YouTube videos based merely upon his obsession with all things mechanical. The 34 year-old California native will have to use every weapon at his disposal in order to keep his Monster Energy Can-Am on track and ahead of the competition.
Remember, race season starts January 5th, so visit the Dakar website for more info on the 2020 Dakar Rally, and be sure to check out the videos below, which illustrate what we just discussed in graphic detail. Can-Am seems hell-bent on going to great lengths to explain Dakar and its commitment to the rally, so be sure to check out Can-Am daily during those two weeks in January, as it looks to utilize its social channels in order to allow race fans to virtually ride along with drivers like Currie, and learn more about the Dakar Rally and its global importance in the process.