Aussie Steve Riley is set to conquer Dakar in a Holden ute.
WHEN we spoke to Victorian dairy farmer Steve Riley back in 2014 about his then-new all-wheel-drive V8 Holden ute, he told us that ultimately he would love to take it to Dakar.“Dakar would be the ultimate goal, but it requires a huge investment of both time and money,” he said after recently debuting the ute in the Australian Safari.
By Dakar, we’re not talking about the capital city of Senegal in North Africa, but the world’s most gruelling cross-country rally that these days is held in South America. It used to be conducted in Africa after growing from the Paris-Dakar Race, but it shifted continents to South America in 2009 after the 2008 race was cancelled following unrest and terrorist threats in North Africa.
The 2019 running of The Dakar, as it has become known, will be solely in Peru, and Steve will realise his dream of running his Holden there for the first time.
“My dream was always to build my own car and race it in the Dakar,” Steve said. “To take a Holden and complete with it on the world stage.”
Steve recalls speaking with Peter Brock when they were both competing in the Australian Safari many years ago, and says that Brock had a similar dream to run a Holden in the toughest off-road race in the world.
A Holden Adventra wagon was built to FIA specification with plans to run in the 2006 Dakar, but it wasn’t completed in time. The plans switched to the 2007 race but they never made it to fruition after the racing legend was killed in a tarmac rally in Western Australia in September 2006.
Source: 4X4 Motorsports