Rick Hatswell is one of very few Canadians to have ever attempted the Dakar Rally, a 10,000KM journey across Argentina and Chile. He is primarily sponsored by Craftsman Collision and many other important sponsors. Please view the links to their websites and use their services and products. These companies believe strongly in the Human spirit that Rick will bring to this years race.
The Dakar spirit is found at the crossroads of several passions. Beyond being an impossible to avoid and unique event in the motor racing world, it is also a unique human experience. The rally’s history, the performance of some and the struggles of others, remind each of us that the Dakar is above all else a sentimental and emotional affair. The competitors are most attached to this dimension. This is what explains, for example, the survival of the idea of mutual aid within the caravan.
More than a simple motor race, the Dakar requires off-road navigation capabilities and rock-solid consistency. In rally-raid, endurance is primordial; the least mistake can be costly. This mix of physical rigour and technical performance has been an attraction for champions from diverse horizons for nearly 30 years, all of whom desire to measure themselves and learn about this original event. Former WRC world champion, Ari Vatanen found the winning formula; Stéphane Peterhansel, who tried his hand at all sorts of exceptional challenges early in his career and world enduro champion, became the uncontested expert of the event; Cyril Despres has stepped onto the top step of the podium; world ski champion, Luc Alphand was a fast learner of the desert; American NASCAR stand out, Robby Gordon, the king of ice racing in another life, Yvan Muller, Carlos Sainz or Guerlain Chicherit have also turned towards the ultimate goal: win the Dakar.
Like the mountains or the oceans, wide-open spaces inspire “adventurers”. Entering the Dakar is in some ways like climbing your own Everest, complete your sailing or rowing around the world trip. The finish podium represents an extraordinary challenge; sometimes it’s a life’s challenge.
Beyond the standings, all the competitors are motivated by this tenacious desire, this nearly insane dream. Whether they are motorcycle riders or drivers in cars or trucks, they share this ambition, a feeling that nears. The tradition of mutual-aid, the buzz word that is a pillar of the “Dakar spirit”, born from this shared passion. No matter their origins, they all speak the same language.