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The Rookie & The Racer: The Story of Rebellion Racing at Dakar 2021, Pt.2

For the 2021 edition of the Dakar Rally, we packed our camera kits and joined our friends at Rebellion Racing to witness the triumphs and tribulations of competing firsthand, and to capture and share with you the unique atmosphere of competing at the top level in one of the wildest places on the planet.

Equipped with a pair of rear-wheel drive, Peugeot-derived Rebellion DXX buggies powered by 400-hp naturally aspirated Ford V8s, the efforts at the wheel were helmed by pedigreed professional and two-time overall Le Mans winner, Romain Dumas, and Rebellion team principal, Alex Pesci, a self-proclaimed novice who began his rallying career just last year (putting his mouth where his money is and making his debut at none other than the 2020 Dakar).

The first of our three-part Dakar 2021 story followed Pesci’s experience, and in this episode, Romain Dumas shares his experience. The last time we went racing with Rebellion and Dumas was at Le Mans in 2020, but these two great tests of endurance are hardly similar. Both require brave, talented drivers, a deep bench of supporting staff in the garage (whether that garage be in pit lane or packed into the back of a support vehicle), strong mental and mechanical fortitude to even think about finishing, and huge amounts of behind the scenes logistics invisible to the outside view. With that said, one race takes place on a paved circuit over the course of a day, while the other involves nearly two weeks of navigating changing and challenging terrain over the course of almost 5,000 miles. That's not a knock on Le Mans, but the Dakar is its own breed of beast.

Dumas was a key piece of the team's effort at the 24-hour race last year, and while the Rebellion R13 LMP1 car requires a different set of abilities than the Rebellion DXX buggy, there is a sizable middle section of the venn diagram. The contrast between the dunes of Saudi Arabia and the tree-lined straights of Le Mans is stark beyond just the aesthetics, but the mind and skill sets required to conquer them aren't entirely dissimilar.

Watch part one of our Dakar 2021 series here:

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added on 31 Aug. 2021


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