THE DAKAR
ENDURO RALLY 2022

TOURING/COMPETITIVE RALLY

February 28 to March 20, 2022

 

21

Rally from London in the footsteps of the world’s most iconic endurance event

The Dakar rally remains the benchmark event in the history of endurance rallies. Between 1978 and 2008 the ‘world’s toughest motor race’ set off across France and Spain before braving the most extreme of off-road conditions across the north African landscape. The route changed many times but the destination always remained the same: Dakar, the capital city of Senegal on the Atlantic coast.

Bespoke Rallies’ Dakar Enduro Rally takes its inspiration from this iconic endurance event but takes things at an altogether more manageable pace. Setting out from the historic Brooklands racetrack in Surrey, this 6,500km journey is open to a range of vehicles from classics to production hatchbacks. We even have a class for motorcycles – just like the original. You don’t have to be a seasoned rally driver to take part – this is for everyone with a sense of adventure.

Passing down through the highways and byways of France and Spain we soon set sail across the straits of Gibraltar to the port of Tangier in Morocco where the thrills and spills begin. From here on in we will be running in the wheel tracks of the original event wherever possible, using some of the finest roads of the classic route while avoiding the dune bashing of the more extreme sections. 

Heading up over the ridge of the Atlas mountains we will descend into the Sahara desert beyond, venturing westwards through to the dunes of Western Sahara, and Mauritania to the south. Our final destination on the westernmost point on the African mainland is the bustling city of Dakar, with its sun-kissed beaches, colourful markets and rich French colonial history. 

This is a marathon to match other events such as the Peking to Paris and the Grand Prix of South America, where you will find camaraderie and competition in equal measure. The roads will vary from smooth tarmac to completely off-road so a well thought out car which can operate on the rough will be essential.

Not for the faint-hearted, the Dakar Enduro Rally is a chance to follow in the footsteps of some classic adventurers. Dust yourself down for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Itinerary in detail

Day 1 | Feb 28

Our journey begins at Brooklands Museum, the birthplace of British motorsport and aviation, and home to one of the world’s best collections of historic vehicles. You’ll get a chance to see some of the cars on display like the record breaking 24 Litre Napier-Railton Endurance racing car, and aircraft including Concorde and a Spitfire.

We get underway later in the day as we head towards Portsmouth for our overnight sailing to Normandy.


Day 2 | March 1

Docking at Caen bright and early we soon hit the road towards Le Mans, scene of the yearly 24-hour race. Its museum features legendary examples of race-winning cars, and an opportunity to visit the famous circuit itself. Further on we motor past the cities of Tours, Poitiers and Bordeaux before reaching our suggested overnight stop at Pau, within view of the snow-dusted Pyrenean mountains to the south. 

Day 3-4 | March 2-3

Heading high up over the Pyrenees we cross the border into Spain before sweeping south along stunning interior roads to the historical walled city of Toledo, perched high above the Tagus river. We press on to Andalusia the next morning en route to Jerez. Perhaps best known as the home of sherry, Jerez is located on the historic frontier of Moorish Spain, and is also celebrated for its wines, horses and flamenco-dancing heritage. 

Day 5 | March 4

Sailing from Tarifa across the Straits of Gibraltar, we soon leave the familiar sights and sounds (and roads) of Europe behind. Barely 25 miles south, the alluring Moroccan city of Tangier awaits. Located at the crossroads of the Atlantic and Mediterranean this ancient and strategically important port has long been a melting pot of European and African influences. Once through customs we have the rest of the day off to prepare for the mountains and deserts of North Africa. 

Day 6 | March 5

Today we get our first chance to drive some of original Dakar route.  Setting off with the Rif mountains to the East, we head across country inland to the medieval Moroccan capital of Fez. This atmospheric city provides a real trip back in time with its maze of cobblestone streets where Mosques, Hammams, and tanneries are hidden behind vast oak doors. Shoemakers, blacksmiths and carpenters can all be seen working and selling their wares in its 8th century medina. 

Day 7 | March 6

Leaving the sprawl of Fez behind, today’s route provides some breathtaking views across the large hinterland between the Middle Atlas and High Atlas mountain ranges. We pass through wetlands and glorious cedar forests, and past alpine villages that serve as ski-resorts during the winter months. Midelt, a largely Berber city provides us with a stopover before the rally’s desert stages begin.

Day 8 | March 7

Today’s drive takes us up and over the High Atlas mountain range where the terrain transforms into rocky scrubland – stunning views open up across the epic landscape of the Moroccan Sahara beyond.  We descend through prehistoric valley walls into the lush surrounds of the Ziz Valley and past the fortified villages that hug its meandering path. 

Erfoud is a true oasis town and is known as the gateway to the Sahara Desert, providing direct off-road tracks into the golden sand dunes.  It has been used as a location for many films including the Mummy, Prince of Persia and the 2015 Bond film, Spectre.

Day 9 | March 8

The lush terrain of palm groves and gardens soon gives way to wide open desert – you might be forgiven for feeling like you’re on another planet, and in fact this area has been used for simulations for missions to the surface of Mars. 

The route running to the south of the Atlas mountain ridge is one of the world’s great drives, taking us along the so-called “road of a thousand Kasbahs” to the desert capital of Zagora. This small town’s fame as a desert outpost was established thanks to its legendary sign – “Tombouctou 52 Days” – the supposed time it takes to get to the famously inaccessible city.

Day 10 | March 9

We head northwest, tracing the twists and turns of the Draa valley, a long fertile band in the middle of the immense desert plateau en route to Ouarzazate. A critical trading post on the historic caravan trails between Marrakech and the Sahara, Ouarzazate is the largest town in the Moroccan Sahara. Its majestic buildings and arid landscape have earned it a reputation in the film world as a backdrop for movies supposedly set in ancient Rome and Egypt.

Day 11 | March 10

The road from Ourzazatte to Marrakech takes us up and across the famous Tizi N’Tichka mountain pass with its hairpin bends and spectacular views across the undulating snow-capped peaks of the Atlas range. Reaching an elevation of 2,260 metres (7,415 ft) above the sea level, this is the highest major mountain pass in North Africa and it follows the ancient Caravan Route towards Morocco’s capital city, Marrakech.

Day 12 | March 11

Often called the Red City after the local sandstone from which so many of the buildings are constructed, Marrakech is like another world. Use this rest day to wander through its vast medina and labyrinthine souks – maybe visit a hammam for an argan oil massage and scrub. And be sure to take in the vast square of Djemaa El Fna where acrobats, musicians and magicians keep the party going until lights out and beyond.

Day 13 | March 12

Back on the road, the route takes us south-west from Marrakech through mountainous scrub landscapes and green valleys and towards a horizon that seems to go on for ever.  We stay overnight at Aït Melloul in the south east of the city of Agadir, the bustling port and beach resort renowned for its 16th Century Kasbah.

Day 14 | March 13

Today the Sahara comes face to face the waves of the North Atlantic Ocean. This is the landscape for which the Paris Dakar was famous, with sand dunes, limestone plateaus, and the occasional lagoon appearing along our route.

Near the village of Tan Tan the road passes two colossal camel sculptures, the symbolic entrance gate to the Western Sahara. This former Spanish colony remains a disputed territory but is to all intents and purposes a part of Morocco – it is also one of the most sparsely populated regions on Earth. We end the day at Laayoune, Western Sahara’s principal city.

Day 15 | March 14

With the Sahara to our left and the brilliant blue of the Atlantic ocean to our right, the road unfurls on and on into the horizon. With its vast open spaces and hypnotic emptiness, this is the very definition of “off the beaten track”. Our day ends at Dahkla, a Spanish colonial town of whitewashed houses clustered around a shallow lagoon. Jutting out into the ocean on a sandy peninsula, this is a remote desert experience at the edge of the world. 

 


Day 16 | March 15

We head out of Dahkla past the striking Spanish lighthouse that sits alone on a cape a couple of miles to the south. The road onwards is straight, flat and paved with sticky black tarmac that takes us first across the tropic of Cancer and then to the border with Mauritania beyond. We stop over at the sleepy fishing port of Nouâdhibou, site of the world’s largest ship graveyard, the rusting hulls of over 300 ships half-submerged in its clear blue waters. 

Day 17 | March 16

The former French colony of Mauritania is a land of sand. Approximately 90% of its surface is covered by the Sahara and today is a case in point. Through miles and miles of beautiful dunes, the sand, sea and sunshine are mesmerising, offering a challenge to both man and machine. Nouakchott, the capital city and the biggest city in the Sahara will come as a welcome change after the rigours of the desert. 

Day 18 | March 17

The long run of desert driving is broken by a well-deserved rest day. You can visit Nouakchott harbour with its colourful fish market, or stroll around the lively town centre, but chances are you will likely spend your time recharging your batteries for the final leg of our journey. The city’s laid-back and peaceful vibe is sure to provide some respite. 

Day 19 | March 18

Heading south, the landscape finally begins to change: as we approach the Senegal river delta and head through the Diawling National Park with its flamingos, warthogs and monkeys, it can only mean one thing: the Sahara has been crossed! Before long we are heading into neighbouring Senegal and St Louis, the oldest colonial city on the western African coast. With its crumbling architecture and maze of tidal marshes it was once known as the “Venice of Africa”.

Day 20 | March 19

Today, just one long strip of tarmac separates us from our final destination, and the finish line. Rural vegetation begins to appear and skinny cattle graze by the roadside in the shade of baobab trees and sugar palms. Before long we reach the bustling colonial city of Dakar, marking the end of the road. It’s time for one last hurrah, a celebratory dinner and sunset drinks.

Day 21 | March 20

Depart Dakar

THE ITINERARY & WHAT’S INCLUDED

• An entry for two people, their car and a double or twin room OR An entry for a biker, their bike and a shared room

• Recommendations for hotels in France and Spain

• Rally Hotel in Jerez

• All hotels on half board basis in Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal (no evening meals on days off)

• Grand send off from Brooklands

• Pre-event briefing

• Route on Tulips

• Ferry from Tarifa to Tangier

• GPS track for the desert sections

• Tracker and web page showing all cars

• Rally clothing

• Gala dinner and prize giving

• Mechanical support crew

• Rally medic

• Our experienced team

• Help with border crossings   

• Dirt road sections    

• Competition by Virtual Marshal

 

WHAT YOU NEED

• A well prepared classic car

• Brantz/Trip-Master or similar

• A car that fits into one of our classes

• A co-driver/driver

Vintage:
All pre-1950 vehicles
Classic:
Classic A: 1950 to 1959

Classic B: 1960 to 1969

Classic C: 1970 to 1979

Classic D: 1980 to 1989

Classic D: 1980 to 1989

Hatchback:
Up to 1,200cc built before 2002

4×4:
A: Land Rover Series 1,2 and 3

B: All other 4x4s

Motorcycles: 
A: Up to 600cc  

B: Over 600cc

C: Pioneer – Dakar motorcycles up to 1999

 

*    Classes may be combined as necessary   * * Please note: route and timings may be changed without notice

How do I prepare for this event?

While no previous experience is necessary it certainly helps to have an idea what you are doing in the sand and rocky surfaces. If you have not done any off-roading there are courses which will help you on this event. You will also need to be proficient in time keeping and up for an adventure.

What safety equipment do I need

A roll cage is a recommended item, as are uprated brakes, full harness seat belts, fire extinguisher, electrical cut out switch and first aid kit.

What car should I take?

We are offering three main classes: Vintage and Classics, Modern between 1200cc and 4x4s. We suggest your car should have good ground clearance and a sump guard as minimum. You will need a Brantz or similar trip meter. You need a car that is reliable and not race tuned!

How is the navigation done?

There will be a comprehensive Tulip roadbook for the event. We will have different types of navigation which we will give more details on nearer the event.

Do I need a competition licence.

No. Your private driving licence is fine plus an International Driving Permit. The evet is under the auspices of FIVA, The Royal Federation of Morocco Motor Club and the Senegal Motor Club.

What is the accommodation like?

You will be in hotels every night so there is no need for a tent. The rally entry fee includes bed and breakfast in all hotels except in France and Spain where there is a wide choice to suite your budget. We include the rally hotel in Jerez. Once in Africa most evening meals are also included, although lunch is not.

What is the terrain like?

For the most part it will be on tarmac roads of various standards although do expect some sand, tracks and rocky surfaces.

What spares will I need?

Obviously we can’t be exact about this, but spare front and rear shock absorbers would be a good idea, along with brake pads, inner tubes, consumables, points and cap (if you have a distributor), tow rope etc. A more comprehensive list will be published later.

Do you provide mechanics?

We will have one or two crews of mechanics depending on the size of the entry. They are there to advise and help you, not as your private mechanic. You will have to be in attendance at all times while they are working on your car.

Will we drive on the sand?

Most certainly. It’s a skill you will learn along the
way. Bring some light equipment to help you dig yourself out of the sand when stuck. The trick to
not getting stuck is to keep up your momentum
and hold your nerve.

Do you ship the cars home?

Yes, we will help organise shipping for you. It is usually very quick back to Europe. More on that later.

DOWNLOAD ENTRY FORM

Enter for the Dakar Rally today

DOWNLOAD LEAFLET

Download Leaflet here

WANT TO TALK TO THE RALLY TEAM? CALL US NOW ON + 44 (0)1483 271 699

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What our participants say!

Reg 2CV Toohey, Amazon Rally 2016

‘Thanks John and all the Bespoke crew; what a fantastic Adventure Rally across the Amazon and Andes with a great group of like minded people from around the world. Thanks for all the planning and backup that made our journey run so smooth. Perfect route with some great hotels along the way. Great memories and friendships thanks so much‘