|Rally Raid: Dakar Rally team excites with its Desert Warriors at Bournemouth|
Poole-based "Excite Rallye Raid Team" brought the team’s Desert Warrior off-road rally cars to the inaugural "Bournemouth Wheels Festival" this bank holiday weekend. And threw around plenty of sand!
The cars certainly captured the attention of the festival goers and assembled media as the cars churned up Bournemouth’s famous sandy beaches. The roar of the cars and the spraying sand were something new to the genteel seaside resort and the Excite team certainly took advantage of the opportunity to show off!
Feedback on the cars and the team’s display was all very positive and the vehicles very soon started to draw huge crowds, as it is not often that people get to see Dakar Rally cars in this country. In fact, this was the first time that such a display of Dakar Rally power has been seen on the area’s beaches.
Jon Weaver, Wheels Festival Director, Bournemouth Tourism said: "The Excite team’s presence and lively displays made a major contribution to the success of this year’s Bournemouth Wheels Festival. The shows were a very popular part of the event – they definitely added to the excitement and were very well received by the spectators."
Excite Rallye Raid’s Team Principal and Driver John Hardy said: "I was really delighted to be invited to help launch the Bournemouth Wheels Festival back in October last year and even happier to have been able to bring three Desert Warriors, including the groundbreaking Desert Warrior 3, to this great new event this weekend. I think we’ve put on a great show and the response from the crowds has really pushed us on. There is obviously a lot of support in this area for what we are doing. Now the whole Excite team is itching to get racing again and prove to the world that Britain still produces championship-winning cars and world-class drivers. Back the Brits."
David Jones, Excite Rallye Raid's Business Manager, said: "John’s vision of putting together an all-British, off-road rallying team to compete in the FIA Off-Road Rally Championship and ultimately the Dakar Rally is going from strength to strength and we are very excited about the prospects for competing in some great locations over the course of the next year."
"Here in Bournemouth, I feel that we have demonstrated the capabilities and resilience of our Dakar Rally cars to the thousands of spectators attending the festival. We hoped to be able to bring along at least one car, but in the event we were able to bring down two cars to run on the beach and one for static display. We had a real presence on the beach and I don’t think the town quite knew what had hit it!"
The Wheels Festival provided yet another opportunity for the team to show off its star vehicle, the Desert Warrior 3, built by RaBe Race Cars, to put on some exciting demonstrations of the cars’ abilities on sand, as well as capture the attention of the media.
A little drama... When the tyre on one of the cars came away from the wheel rim and caused the vehicle to flip over onto its roof during one of the displays, this only provided the team with the opportunity to demonstrate the strength of the cars and its ability to turn on a sixpence to get the car up-and-running again overnight. Driver and passenger were both unscathed.
Not surprisingly, the crash became something of an internet sensation in the space of a few hours and the crowds who came to see the displays on the following day were amazed to learn that the car involved was back, patched up and scampering over the sands again like a frisky puppy – surely a testimonial to the team’s resourcefulness and the ruggedness of the Desert Warriors.
During the festival, the team took part in a friendly sprint challenge between one of the Excite Desert Warriors and a Jackal vehicle. Given the very different power-to-weight ratios of the two vehicles, it was always going to be a one-sided competition, with the Desert Warrior disappearing into the distance in a cloud of sand. That was not really the point, however, as more than anything, the Army boys from the camp at Bovington and the Excite team members were just keen to see what each other’s vehicles could do.
2014/06/04 | 21:14 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/JONES