Harald Von Langsdorff forwarded a Lawrence Hacking story to me this weekend that was published on http://www.wheels.ca about an accomplishment at the Dakar Rally that I had not noticed, but was very pleased when it was drawn to my attention. David Bensadoun and Patrick Beaule of Team Aldo Racing became the first Canadians to finish the Dakar Rally on four-wheels! And I should add that Lawrence Hacking knows of which he writes, as Lawrence was the first Canadian to ever finish the Dakar, when he rode his motorcycle to a finish in 2001.
Bensadoun/Beaule were ranked 40th of the approximately 250 cars, bikes, quads, and trucks that started that tough rally.
Their Desert Warrior car performed well during the rally. Rally Raid International built the car and provided service and support to Team Aldo during the rally. Rally Raid International will rebuild/refresh the car, so that it will be ready for another run in the Dakar next year, but it is not clear that Team Aldo will be back to Dakar in the near future. It is a huge undertaking and Team Aldo has already accomplished a major 4-wheel milestone that no other Canadians have done before.
Finally, but very importantly, Team Aldo Racing also raised more than $200,000 for CANFAR, a charity that battles aids in Africa. These guys are real winners! Congratulations!
Lawrence Hacking’s book, To Dakar and Back, is widely available. The book documents his Dakar experiences and is a published by ECW Press. www.lawrencehacking.com