Just about any kind of motorsport is going to be absolute hell on both man and machine, straining the physical limitations of flesh and steel in the singular pursuit of victory. The ultimate motorsports test won’t be found on a race track though; instead you have to look to the Dakar Rally, which began by crossing the harsh climes of Africa before switching continents to South America.
The motorcycles, cars, and trucks purpose-built to handle to dangers of Dakar are amongst the toughest vehicles on the planet, and it’s rare to see them not surrounded by desert or mountain. The Kamaz T4 Dakar truck was on hand at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year, giving motorsports fans an up-close look at a rare breed of endurance racing machine.
But there’s so much more to these Dakar Rally trucks than meets the eye. You might be wondering, why the hell are they so huge? Well because in addition to racing in their own special class, trucks in the T5 class carry all the spare parts and equipment needed by other racing teams. It’s not like the Dakar Rally uses much in the way of paved roads, after all, and if you blow a tire or bust a shock, you can’t just run to the corner store and buy a replacement.
The Kamaz T4 is an evolution of the racing rally repair trucks, and the T4 class is specifically designed for these four, six, and eight-wheeled monsters to compete against each other. Just to be clear, there are Dakar rally classes both racing support and non-support trucks. Seriously. Not only that, but Kamaz has dominated the T4 class, winning it for eight of the past ten years. These are arguably the toughest racing machines on the planet, literally taking up the whole road at Goodwood.
It looks so out of place on paved roads, but considering how isolated the Dakar Rally is, it’s one of the few chances regular people get to see this rare breed of racing truck in action.