4x4 Featured Lead Story Moto Off Road Rally — 13 January 2014

A Little about the Only Woman Racing A Quad at Dakar this year- Camelia Liparoti

This year’s Dakar Rally has one woman competing on a quad, who is attempting to beat her own highest finish of 9th in her class in 2012. Camelia became the 2nd woman in history to finish the Dakar on a quad in 2010 and she is still going strong today on stage 8: Salta/Uyuni > Calama- Today she will have to ride around the Salar de Uyuni, the biggest salt flat in the world a full 782km (486miles). If all goes to plan she will begin the Chilean part of the rally tomorrow.

She is currently in 16th position on her Yamaha Storm and is hoping to make up some positions on todays stage after a day of rest. She has completed 6 full days of racing covering 4,136 km (2,570 miles).

Liparoti is a native Italian who discovered her love for endurance racing while on assignment photographing the Dakar Rally. She pursued quad racing and won the World All Terrain Rally Cup in the women’s category twice now.

“After two world titles, I was in need of a new challenge, so I decided to switch to a bigger and more powerful quad. This choice forced me to change brands. I will now ride a Yamaha, which is known for its reliability. It is a limited series Black Storm, but I renamed it the “Black Blonde Storm”,  it has 200 more horsepower and more importantly incredible torque… My objective is to make it to the finish and if possible in the top ten. “

The Dakar Rally is known as one of the toughest and most dangerous off-road races in the world, and the 2014 version of the event has certainly lived up to the billing thus far. Not only is the Dakar Rally a test of endurance, it also offers a much tougher terrain than other rallies.

The race,, lasts for a total of 14 days including the rest day breaking up the competition. After 431 participants started the 2014 Dakar Rally, just 229 remained by the mandatory rest day.

The rally passes through Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. After starting on Jan. 5 in Rosario, Argentina, the journey will end on Jan. 18 in Valparaiso, Chile. The entire route is over 5,200 miles, and said to be one of the most treacherous rally courses in the world.

The race doesn’t come without its dangers. The rally is commonly referred to as the “world’s most dangerous race” for its rough terrains and sweltering conditions. The racers must battle through water, sand dunes, mud, camel grass and rocks. During the fifth stage, the temperatures rose to as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to news.com.au.

CNN has sited, 27 competitors have died and 50 total have perished—including spectators, support crew and media—in the rally since its inception in 1978. This year’s race has already claimed the lives of three individuals—one motorcycle competitor: Belgian, Eric Palante and two news members thus far.

With the race still taking place and entering its eighth stage today (Monday, Jan. 13), the most important moments are still ahead at the 2014 Dakar Rally.


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Erika a champion rally driver, writer & driving instructor who spends a lot of her time sharing news about woman racing on FemaleRacingNews.com