This past Saturday as the crowds gathered to watch the opening stages of the 2010 Dakar Rally, a transcontinental off road race being run across the Pampas of Argentine, across the Atacama Desert and over the Andes Mountains pushing both man and machine to their ultimate limits of concentration and endurance. Simply put, the Dakar makes Baja look like they are playing in a sandbox. The race was recently transplanted from the traditional Paris/Dakar route to South America after terrorist threats against the rally and its competitors and the second running looked like it would be off to a terrific start. However like any high speed rally that takes place on terrain where cars shouldn’t even be driving, the Dakar has claimed its fair share of lives over the past 31 years.

2010 Dakar Rally off to a tragic start Exterior
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Unfortunately as German driver Mirco Schultis pushed his yellow and blue race truck around a corner along the opening stages of the race and lost control, the 28 year old spectator Natalia Sonia Gallardo lost her life as well. With long stretches of open circuit and nowhere nearly enough manpower to police every corner, just like the racers behind the wheel, onlookers will take that extra risk and sometimes wind up a little too close to the action. These unfortunate incidents are what eventually led to the end of Group B rally racing. Back when the only four wheel drive was a Quattro and the only thing larger then the wings were the turbochargers, drivers would begging for every ounce of power that their teams could deliver and the cars held up quite well. The problem derived from the hoards of camera wielding spectators willing to literally stare death in the face, waiting until the last possible moment to get out of the car’s that came by hanging their tails out a bit too far. Much like the tragic spectators of yesteryear, Gallardo was watching from a location that was deemed to be an unauthorized viewing area. We just hope that unfortunate news like this doesn’t spell the same fate for the Dakar.


What do you think?
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  (570) posted on 02.3.2010

Being on the rally itself is a big risk. There was even a time way back when fast transports like helicopters were not available and not all cars a re tracked. If a car gets into trouble or a crash, it takes time to find them and time to reach them.

  (708) posted on 01.26.2010

This is so depressing. A celebration turned out a tragedy. This is probably the saddest day for all the racers and spectators. I just wish the event will resume but with a new positive emotion.

  (612) posted on 01.5.2010

well accidents do happen lets just hope that i wont happen again. my deepest condolences to her family and love ones.

  (428) posted on 01.5.2010

Anything can happen when you’re in a race, accidents are too common on that matter. But IMO, it’s a good start even there are some "rocky situation" at least we can see how much power their have and to know the weakness of their car to fix it up.

  (177) posted on 01.4.2010

This unfortunate event is calling for the attention of rally organizers. More security for the audience who are watching the event. It’s just dreadful that someone would have lose their life because of the organizer’s failure to foresee this kind of accidents.

  (183) posted on 01.4.2010

This is a terrible news. I sincerely hope that organizers of the event would be paying tribute to the car enthusiast who has lost her life. My condolences to her family.

  (859) posted on 01.4.2010

well it’s sad to hear that, but i guess it’s not the driver’s fault, it’s a plain accident. we all know that racing is a dangerous sports and accident may happen anytime.

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