The Dakar Rally is underway and, with now satellite or cable TV, I'm catching up via Red Bull's own Dakar Daily. The highlights program is light on action and heavy on 'features' presented by two a couple of typical presentery-type presenters who tell us how rad everything and emote to camera, which almost makes it unwatchable, but hell, it's free content, stop bitching.
Day one's big interview was with Red Bull-sponsored Bryce Hankins, a trophy truck driver from the US, signed up to race the mad looking new Mini John Copper Works Buggy (the US is a strong market for the Mini). As I was three days behind in viewing, iI was with a tiny pant squirt of schadenfreude I went directly from seeing American newcomer talking about his plans in edition one, to a barrel-rolling start to day 2. He seemed a nice guy, confident, not bullish, but he completed the 30km special stage on day 1, in a good place and made it less than 10km into day two (of 16!) before he chose to not believe his co-driver and did this... Peru takes no prisoners.
I'm not sure the tow truck driver, in the same clip, who 'rescued' the pick-up from the dune deserves his licence either.
Below is what the Mini Buggy looked like before he proper fooked the job.
Meanwhile, on two wheels a Brit is leading at the end of Day 3. Incredibly Sam Sunderland's 2017 Dakar win didn't catapult him to fame and fortune. The guy's a legend. I also love his new to me KTM team-mate, Matthias Walkner (below), who was second to Sunderland in 2017. The pair of them look like they were press-ganged out of a provincial tyre-fitting depot. They do not fit the athlete stereotype, but they are a pair of the hardest bastards on two wheels.
The factory KTM team sis also sponsored by Red Bull. How much money does that company sink into motorsports?
Follow the Red Bull TV Dakar Daily for updates.