Local manufacturers dominate The Dakar

With a little more than two months to go before the start of the 2021 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia on 3 January 2021, Dealerfloor spoke to Terence Marsh, CEO and founder at Red-Lined Motoring Adventure about the South African influence on the race.

Dakar Photo 1

According to Marsh, more than 40% of the race cars in the starting line-up for the T1 Dakar category in 2020 boasted South African manufacturers. “One can easily see how local manufacturing talent is starting to dominate the entries to this legendary endurance race,” Marsh said at his manufacturing factory in Midrand.

Red-Lined is well-known for the T1 Nissan Navara V8, which is regarded as one of the best-manufactured solid axle race cars in the world. Both the 5.6 litre and the 5.0 litre models come with a double wishbone front and rear live/solid axle, Sadev 6-speed sequential gearbox and 16x7 Evo Corse Wheels. The Nissan Nismo VK56VD model produces a whopping 265 kW @ 4 750 rpm and 575 Nm @ 4 000 rpm.

Terence Marsh
Terence Marsh

Although most competitors and manufacturers spend a lot of time, effort and money in producing race cars that have a fair chance of winning, Red-Lined is not focused on winning the prestigious race. “We focus a lot on participants who have a life-long ambition to take part in the race as an experience or ticking off an item on their bucket list,” Marsh said.

He further explained that Red-Lined Motoring Adventure is a bespoke company that can manufacture and assist anyone in the world wanting to take part in the most gruelling motor race in the world. “With our track record, we have an exceptionally high finishing rate at the Dakar owing to our extensive training and support programmes,” Marsh explained. According to him, they have entered a total of 10 cars to date with only one driver crashing out and not being able to complete the event.

The Dakar does not always take centre stage for the team at Red-Lined, as they focus a lot more on the exhilaration of motoring adventures in the form of other international and local race events as well as exclusive corporate entertainment days. “We refer to it as the greatest rollercoaster ride out there and the ticket you can’t buy….so if you are into living on the edge and pumping with adrenaline, then this is for you,” Marsh challenged.

Starting the business in 2011, he and his team have manufactured more than 38 cars to date with a focus not only on performance but also on reliability and safety.

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