Sam Sunderland Won the Dakar Rally

The Dakar Rally is an off-road endurance motoring event that is held in the Sahar dessert but recently moved to South America for security reasons. The rally is open to professional and armature contestants, with armatures making up over 80 percent of the participants.

The event is both a motorcycle and motor vehicle event, but you won’t see anything from Koenigsegg – the Swedish supercars – as the tracks are a little rough for cars of that type.

Path to Winning

Sam Sunderland is based in Dubai. For that reason, he can train in desert conditions which are similar to what is in the Dakar rally. The driver could not compete in 2014, though, because of mechanical challenges.

In 2015, the motorcycle section was won by Marc Coma and in 2016 Australian Toby Price won the trophy. Sam, who drives for KMT, won the rally on his third attempt. The Dorset boy established a lead in stage five of the 12 stage race, eventually beating his closest rival by 32 minutes. At the finish line, Sam spoke of feeling relieved of the pressure of being the leader in the motorcycle race. The past 16 winners of the Dakar Rally motorbike competition have all been KMT riders.

The year 2017 will be one of pressure for the rider because he is the reigning champion, and he will want to maintain that in 2018. 2018 might be harder to win than 2017 because 2016 champion Marc Coma, who was injured in the 2017 race and announced retirement, might be fit and make a comeback.