New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Ingo Ready to Ride Third Dakar

Namibia's Enduro sensation Ingo Waldschmidt is holding his breath for the confirmation of the final entry list for the 2013 Dakar event, which is only being made available on Tuesday 10 July.

Everything is hanging in the balance for Dakar Rally off-road sensation Ingo Waldschmidt told Woema this week, who is planning to participate for the third time, after signing up on 15 May to take part in the 2013 Dakar event.

"You have to prove that you are capable of riding the Dakar, and I shouldn't have a problem getting in this year because of my previous results, but you never know what their criteria are - so like everyone else I wait."

"This time restraint will leave me with a short deadline to raise the necessary funds and sponsors, if I am accepted - but I am sure it will work out, because I have the criteria to be a worthwhile competitor after two good finishes in 2009 and 2011.

"The Argentina/Chile/Peru Dakar is a back breaking 15-day event which will cover a distance of 9 000 kilometre and is said to be the hardest and longest off road event in the world.

"I didn't plan on entering again this next year, but did have it in the back of my mind since my last finish, I guess the bug has bitten me, and it is an amazing experience."

Waldschmidt who successfully flew the flag for Namibia in the 2011 Argentina Rally, where he finished a blistering third overall in the Marathon Class, and 38th position overall, is mustering up the courage to brave it once more.

In his favour, according to Waldschmidt, they riders will start on day one with some dune riding, a desert terrain he is most familiar with coming from Namibia. And this he maintains should give him a head start, also because of no dust, and if you are a better rider you can get ahead.

Due to the fact that Waldschmidt didn't participate in 2012, his starting position he said will shift back, and is planning that the first desert leg, will set him into a faster pace and move with a faster group of riders.

He also plans to ride a brand new KTM 450cc Rally Replica off-road bike imported from Austria. The bike has been sponsored by an ardent supporter and sponsor Brian Enslin of Square Café in Windhoek.

The state-of-the-art bike costs in the region of N$465 000, not to mention the cost of a spare engine, which will add another N$65 000 to the lump sum. These are unique bikes according to Waldschmidt especially designed for a course like the Dakar, and are hand built, with a limited edition being produced.

With the confirmation of the final entry list on 10 July being just around the corner, it has however, been longwinded process to pick out the best riders, with the necessary skills to tackle this event. Organisers are more wary of their entry choices this year following the death of a rider The entry list has been lowered to 160 riders from previous year's 240 entry list.

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