Nine million square kilometres of sand, seas of rolling dunes, and large rock plateaus. The Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world, a vast wilderness that stretches all the way across the top of Africa. There aren’t many environments on the planet that can claim to be as harsh as the extremes experienced in the Sahara, excesses of temperature at either end of the mercury, dust storms that engulf all that stand before, and a lack of water that even the Dromedary Camel struggles with.
But for all the hardship, this is a place where life endures and finds a way, whether that be the West African Cheetah, or its distant cousin the Sand Cat or the countless other examples of wildlife that call this wilderness home. Human life also finds a way, nomadic herdsmen eking out a life in this severe environment.
It is also beautiful, the golden sand of the desert striking a hard contrast with the azure blue of the sun-filled skies, oasis of green punctuating the dunes in a riot of life, water and colour and the topographic and geological transitions that are sometimes the only clue to any changes in elevation or guides to direction.
To witness this huge area is a once in a lifetime experience, a privilege and a reminder that life can conquer all and find a way just about anywhere. To rally out here, on the other hand, is a joy that is only really known by those that have done it. The Sahara Challenge will select the very best bits that the desert has to offer and condense it all into a 12-day adventure, that will test the soul and leave an unrivalled feeling of triumph after one has conquered the ever-encroaching sands of the desert.
Beginning and ending in Spain, just a short hop over the Mediterranean Sea will transport all of those involved into another time, a distant world where the roads were sparsely populated and the roadsides even less so. If remote rallying is what you are after, the Sahara Challenge is the test for you.
For those with Peking to Paris 2022 ( now postponed until 2023) on their minds, the Sahara Challenge will also provide a very important platform to shake down cars and test them before the ultimate challenge begins just a few months later. Few other rallies will provide an opportunity to test cars in such extremes of temperature and on sandy and soft roads that are always a hallmark of the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge.
Whatever your reason for entering, the Sahara Classic offers to be a phenomenal adventure for anyone brave enough to enter. The opportunity to experience one of the world’s last great wildernesses, and rally a classic car whilst doing so, well, those chances don’t just come along every day.