Motorsports Weekend Guide: January 2 to January 4`

Welcome to the first edition of the 2015 Motorsport Weekend Guide. As this week and weekend sort-of bridge the gap between 2014 and 2015, I’ll use the 2014 format but look for some changes through the coming year to keep you on top of motorsports every weekend, regardless of where you are or what kind of cars, motorcycles, boats, and/or racing airplanes you like. The 2015 year opens with a couple of events off the beaten path. Follow the jump for the dynamic duo of racing.

Dakar Rally
Along with the Baja 1000, the Dakar Rally challenges off-road racers with brutal racing in some of the world’s harshest climates. The name of the rally (actually a “rally raid” if we’re being technical about it) suggests it takes place in West Africa, but the rally actually covers 17 stages in Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia over the next 14 days. Fun fact: The rally’s original route (and the one for its first 30 years) ran from Paris and down through Spain, Morocco, and then through West Africa until security concerns in Mauritania ended that routing. [Funner fact: The traditional routing is now covered by the Africa Eco Race, which started Tuesday and runs through January 11.]
Nevertheless, the grueling South American rally draws entries of everything from motorcycles to massive trucks driven by mostly obscure specialists, although off-road legend Robby Gordon and World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz are among those on the entry list for the cars. Mini’s factory team has won the last three Dakar Rallies while KTM has won the last 13 in the bike category. Russian heavy truck manufacturer Kamaz is usually the team to beat in the Truck category with any of a handful of Russian-driven Kamazes at the fore of the field.
Website: Dakar Rally site. Rally schedule. Entry lists. Routes.
Live coverage: Daily updates on France Televisions, allegedly accessible on There is also a free Dakar Rally 2015 app for smartphones (Droid and iPhone) that gives live standings and updates.
European Rally Championship: Jaennerrallye (Austria)

Back in Europea, the FIA begins 2015 with an asphalt rally in Northern Austria. The ERC staple could very well see snow and ice on the tarmac, which is what propelled former F1 driver Robert Kubica to victory in Austria last season, his first-ever international rally win.
Kubica won’t drive in Austria this year, now will 2014 ERC champion Esapekka Lappi. The 23-year-old Finnish Skoda driver sat out last year’s Jannerrallye, as well, which isn’t surprising when ERC only uses a driver’s six best results to tabulate the championship totals. However, one of the rallying’s other rising stars, 24-year-old Irishman Craig Breen, will be racing his Peugeot 208 in this rally, which gets a late start on Sunday because of a bank holiday in Austria.
Website: ERC site. Jaennerrallye site. Entry list. Rally guide.
Live coverage: None in the U.S., but you can usually get recaps shortly after the rally on the FIA ERC’s YouTube Channel.
[Lead photo copyright 2014 Hooniverse/Eric Rood  | Other photo: Dakar Rally/]

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  1. smokyburnout Avatar

    Argentina's TV Publica covers the Dakar opening ceremonies live… and you should be able to stream it on their site starts Saturday at 2:30PM local time/12:30PM EST
    If that doesn't work, you can usually find less legit streams of whichever Fox Sports covers it down there.
    Should mention that 100% of these will be with Spanish commentary