Want to learn how to truly navigate like a Dakar Rally racer? How about training with three Dakar podium finishers—Jimmy Lewis, Danny LaPorte and Chris Blais—here in America?The three Americans, in conjunction with Lewis’s JLR Off-Road Training, are offering the Pahrump to Dakar Rally Experience this April in Pahrump, Nevada, where JLR Off-Road Training is located. The debut event takes place Friday, April 7, through Sunday, April 9. Participants can register for either a two- or three-day event.
The Pahrump to Dakar Rally Experience begins Friday with an intense, one-day mapbook style rally navigation taught by three-time Dakar state winner Lewis. This course will give an insight that goes far beyond “here is a mapbook and here are your crayons” training.Friday’s Pahrump to Dakar Rally Experience class revolves around the understanding of where you are, where you are going and how to get there with the instructions you have been given. Designed around a learning experience that gives you the skill set to build your own system of navigation and process information while riding or driving at a high level. Additionally, Lewis will explain the craft of navigating while racing, which is much more than following pictures, other riders or even learning a few french phrases.“I was never the fastest guy but I could navigate,” Lewis says. “I learned by racing with the best and taught myself even more when I realized how important navigation was to success in rallies. I can work with a rider on riding technique for a year and not make them 20-minutes faster in riding on a day. One day of navigation training can save a rider 20-minutes easy. Some simple skills can pay those kinds of dividends while others are lost.”Saturday begins with a basic introduction to navigation course followed a fun route for all participants to a secret bivouac in the Pahrump desert. You’ll ride, drive and learn with LaPorte, Lewis and Blais plus a few more special guests to be announced later.The routes will be provided on mapbooks from Rally Navigator in different formats as well as the availability of GPS tracks for “cheaters”. You’ll only need an odometer and a compass–there are even apps available for your phone (we suggest Rally Blitz) that will do all of this for you. Motorcycle riders will need a mapbook holder. Vehicles need to have 80 miles of fuel range.Saturday evening participants will gather for a catered meal, more stories, a few games and presentations about the Dakar past and present. Motorcycle riders will have some small supplies transported (airplane box) and then we’ll camp in the dirt just like the old days. Bring your tent and sleeping bag. Furthermore Rally Fans can choose to join and camp with the event Saturday afternoon and evening for presentations, good food and bench racing at a private secluded location.Sunday will have participants navigating another stage that will take them to the dunes. Riders will learn lessons in sand riding and driving as well as some short training stages to navigate. Then participants will have the option of a group ride/drive back to Pahrump or depart from the dunes.There will be plenty of time to learn and socialize with racers and other rally fans. The event is designed to be friendly to all ability levels with easy access to meeting points and camping areas. Event sponsors will be announced soon and we expect to have give-away items to participants and raffle items to raise money for land use groups. Entry forms will be available in late February.
Pahrump to Dakar Rally Experience Costs, April 7-9:
Two-day Pahrump to Dakar Participant 2 or 4 wheel: $375
Includes: Training, Mapbooks, GPS downloads, Meals (bag lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, bag lunch), Camping, “airplane box” transport for motos, dune flag, Fuel transport and event T-shirt
Support Person: $225
Includes: Meals (bag lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, bag lunch), Camping, Support Road Book and event T-shirt
Three Day Pahrump to Dakar Participant: $775 (limited to 10 participants)
Same as two-day but with additional Friday Training including lunch and training supplies. Participants will have a longer Saturday navigation stage as well.
Entries are open. To get on the email list to be notified early and guarantee a spot at the event email a request to email@example.com. There will be classroom time and practical drills with the vehicle. Participants will need an odometer and compass (CAP heading) display and a mapbook holder if on a motorcycle.