The Notorious Desert 1000 is back; Brian Baragwanath to compete in the Century CR6 

I was 16 when I went to my first desert race.  I was on a YFZ450 quad bike in Vryburg. My engine blew the first day and I realized that this is a race of man AND machine. I naively tried to fix it that night by opening the engine for the first time and realized that you need spares and expertise. You need to be prepared for a race like this.  We camped and it was so cold my friend cuddled a laptop for warmth through the night. 

Traditionally, the Desert race is always in Winter. Waking up in the bush at the crack of dawn to hear the excitement and revving of engines of teams that were prepared, struck a chord in my soul.  I was hooked. 

Throughout the years of Desert race editions, I have many memories and these are my fondest.  In 2014 I won the Dakar Challenge. This was a big stepping stone in getting to the start line of my first Dakar in 2015.  In 2015 I won a significant cash prize at the Desert 1000 thanks to Jwaneng Motorclub and their relevant sponsors. This helped me buy a wedding ring for my now beautiful wife. In 2016 I sustained a complicated elbow injury which effectively ended my quad racing career. This is a race that can make you or break you.  Either way it truly is a special event. 

This weekend I will compete in the 2021 Century CR6 2wd Off Road Car.  One of the best Dakar spec racing vehicles available powered by a Chev V8 7l engine with new R53 Suspension from the UK.  The race is at a new venue in Upington 800km away from base. I have traversed through the area at the Amageza Rally a long time ago and I think it will be spectacular racing terrain. Lots of sand, although it’s grassy, with high-speed jeep tracks which get rutted and whooped out, especially on the repeat loops. River beds and rocks will keep us on our toes as well as some tight bushy sections which always notoriously tear at the bodywork. We will get some small, tricky dune sections too. 

On Friday it’s a 130km time trial.  Saturday, a 200km loop, that we do twice and Sunday is a 190km loop that we do twice as well. Track the action on the Rallysafe app. Spectators are not allowed in the pits but we do see a lot of people safely distanced out on the open route which is great.

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