The Dakar rally, the toughest race in the world is now underway and MINI has another great chance to win it. Taking place from the 6th – 17th of January, the Dakar goes through the mountains and deserts of Peru through ten brutal stages. You can find international coverage throughout the world and on your smartphone.
If you’re new to the Dakar you’ll likely be overwhelmed by the numbers of classes, simultaneous action and even the bizarre terminology used. To give you a primer of what to expect throughout the Rally, we put together a quick guide to help MINI fans better understand each stage and follow the race.
The 2019 Dakar Dictionary
BIVOUAC: At the end of every stage, this is the camp where all teams and competitors erect their service spots. In addition to the medical centre and the media centre, the bivouac also features a big catering camp, representing the meeting place for all members of the Dakar teams. One bivouac will be of a Marathon-type, where no outside service is authorised; the only authorised service is between competitors still racing.
BRIEFING: During the rally, the organisation will hold a driver briefing on every evening. In this briefing, special incidents of the day will be recounted, and information for the coming stage will be hinted.
CHECKPOINT or PASSAGE CONTROL: At a Checkpoint/Passage Control, competitors must collect a stamp on their time cards to prove that they passed the Checkpoint or Passage Control. Should a competitor miss a Checkpoint or Passage Control (or fail to collect the stamp), he receives a time penalty.
FAST ASSISTANCE: As only competitors are allowed to help one another, in the Dakar, many teams enter a “Fast Assistance”. This Fast Assistance is usually a race truck that contests the event in the truck category and provides the competitor extensive support in the case of an accident or a technical problem. The truck has spare parts and tools on board.
FESH FESH: A certain kind of fine-grained Sahara sand, called “Guadal” in Argentina.
GPS: In the Dakar, the GPS is used as control system. In the special stages, the competitors may navigate solely through use of the road book. The GPS only confirms arrival at and passing of the checkpoints or GPS Waypoints.
INTERCOM: Used by the driver and co-driver to communicate road book instructions.
IRITRACK: This satellite-supported system provides position control. With this system, the PC Course can control the position and speed of every competitor. In case of an emergency, the competitors can contact the PC Course using an integrated satellite phone.
LIAISON: The liaison takes the competitors to the start, and from the finish to the bivouac. It must be completed by the drivers in a specified time.
NEUTRALISATION: Time during which the crews are stopped by the Race Direction or Section with allotted time but not timed for classification between two Selective Sections.
PARC FERMÉ: An area in which the vehicles must be parked at certain times during the event. Repairs, refuelling or tyre changes are prohibited there. Cars may only be covered by a transparent protection foil.
PC COURSE: This race control is responsible for sports and safety-relevant aspects and for appeals.
REST DAY: On this day, at rally half-time, no stage is contested, and the competitors and vehicles remain in the bivouac. The teams use this day to perform extensive maintenance work on their cars.
ROAD BOOK: The competitors are provided with the road book when entering the bivouac at the end of a stage. It provides all important navigation information: distances, dangerous passages and special hints for the next stage. The information is displayed using arrows and symbols.