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The World’s Toughest Off Road Races

Gruelling, dangerous and exciting are three words that perfectly capture the essence of off-road racing. These races can be thought of as more of an endurance or battle to reach finish. The demands are huge; vehicles need to be fast, strong and highly capable. Drivers need to remain mentally sharp, have quick reflexes and be physically fit for a long distance. See the teasers listed below to learn about the most hard-core off-roading events from around the globe.

Mexican Desert Sabotage - Baja 1000

The Baja 1000 welcomes all manner of avid off-roaders from nimble motorcycles to the custom-built desert buggies. If blasting across thousands of miles of Mexican desert doesn’t already scream danger, consider the countless hidden traps and jumps along the way. In the most remote sections, crafty spectators have been known to alter the course. Although it makes for very entertaining videos, it is often catastrophic when hit at high speeds.

South American Scramble - Dakar Rally

The Dakar has long been regarded highly among off-road endurance events. Originally run from Paris to Senegal, it was deemed too dangerous for personal security. Since, it has moved to an equally challenging South American location. A variety of vehicles may enter in their classes, all must endure serious punishment if they want to even reach the finish. Racers must quickly navigate through notoriously difficult terrain. The toughest sections include loose rocks, mighty sand dunes, sticky mud and thick camel grass. For both vehicle and driver to make it through this rally without faltering from complete exhaustion is a real feat in itself.

Malaysian Jungle Madness - Rainforest Challenge

Off-roading cannot get any tighter or technical than the notorious Rainforest Challenge. A 500-mile battle is waged over six days in the dense Malaysian Jungle. The route is always terribly cruel and unforgiving for both man and machine. Competitors are faced with flooded rivers, blinding heavy rain, sticky mud, sudden landslides and slippery rocks. Combine that with the sweltering heat, damp humidity, nasty bugs and little sleep time. The event is so hard going it even nourishes great camaraderie between the rival drivers.

Californian Horse Power - King of the Hammers

Combine furious desert racing with tricky rock crawling and you have the King of the Hammers. This epic week-long event takes place at Means Dry Lake, sunny California. Each race begins with two racers launching side by side every 30 seconds. After that it’s a wild scramble to complete the devilish 165-mile course in less than 14 hours. Whilst a wide variety of vehicle classes are run, the “Ultra 4” class is definitely the one to watch. Each of the custom fabricated machines is capable of screaming along at over 100mph, yet the gearing still allows for any technical rock climbing. The current powerhouse of choice is the GM V8 and it boasts a monstrous 800HP. Couple that with chunky 40” tyres, bead lock wheels, advanced suspension and you’re in for an awesome show!

Offbeat  23/06/2015 09:09:46



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