The Empty Quarter continues to reveal its identity. The immense desert that plays host to most of the oil deposits exploited in Saudi Arabia is also a special playground for rally-raid riders and drivers to express themselves. The expanses of dunes discovered by the Dakar this year have few equivalents on the surface of the planet. However, the 185-km programme for the special was not restricted to the tricky exercise of overcoming the dunes, because when the route crossed the chotts it allowed the competitors to push the pace of their vehicles to the limits.
In 1984, for the 5th edition of the Paris-Dakar, Porsche was the first constructor to develop a car especially designed for victory, the legendary 911 type 953, with three models enrolled, two aiming for victory in the hands of Ickx and Metge and a third for the rapid assistance team driven by engineer Roland Kussmaul. On the Dakar Classic, a replica of the victorious Porsche is taking part with the Logistic Rallye team. A second Porsche inspired by the Martini version from the East Safari years, the historical copy of the 953 to be precise, is taking part alongside. A Peugeot 504, a Cox and a Strakit buggy are also present. What do the team’s cars have in common? They are all 2WD! As in the old days, Rudy Verdaguer, head of the French structure, is driving a fast assistance vehicle himself, a 4×4 to come to the aid of those marooned on two wheels if necessary, but not just any old 4X4: a VW Transporter T3, commonly known as the “Combi”, to stay in the spirit of his team and his personal tastes. The darling of the beatniks of the early Paris-Dakar era has become the darling of this third edition of the Dakar Classic, drawing plenty of admiration!