Luxury auto maker Honda has decided to make a return to the popular Dakar Rally next year, which is all set to take place in January in Lima, Peru.
Honda’s Team HRC will enter the 2013 Dakar Rally with riders Felipe Zanol, Sam Sunderland, Javier Pizzolito, and Helder Rodrigues – who finished third in the 2012 event.
Honda riders will have to face tough competition from KTM the Austrian motorcycle brand that has been winning the event for the past eleven years in a row.
It will be the first time in 23 years that Honda will participate in the popular motorcycle race event. The last time it participated in the event was in 1989.
Originally, the rally was called Paris-Dakar Rally. But, the route for racing no longer runs from Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal because the area is deemed very dangerous as well as politically unstable. Today’s Dakar Rally has an entirely new route as it now runs in South America, thousands of miles away from the city it was named after.
The 2013 Dakar Rally will be a two-week event that will run through Peru, Chile and Argentina. The motorcyclists participating in the event will rack up more than five thousand miles of terrain, which varies from rock-strewn mountain passes to sandy desert.
Historically, Honda riders participated in the celebrated Paris-Dakar Rally from the year of 1981 thorough 1989. In those nine annual events, the auto giant won the event five times.
Tetsuo Suzuki, President, Honda Racing Corporation stated that the Dakar needs rivals to cover several hundred kms on a daily basis for over two weeks.
“It requires a totally different kind of vehicle from events comprising motocross, trials and road races.”