Brinkman enjoys Dakar debut

Motorsport Australia Off Road Championship (AORC) regular Glenn Brinkman will look back at his maiden Dakar Rally with fondness despite being faced with a series of challenges.

Alongside navigator Dale Moscatt calling the notes for the two weeks, Brinkman managed to complete the world-famous event in 122 hours and 13 minutes – finishing 26th in the Challenger Class.

Over 14 days, the duo tackled more than 4000 competitive kilometres and more than 7000 liaison kilometres of mixed terrain across the Saudi Arabian desert where they completed 12 stages.

While they found themselves as high as 14th at one point of the weekend, unfortunately they experienced mechanical issues on multiple days, which saw them drop down the order as the race went on.

Photos: Frédéric Le Floc’h and Antonin Vincent / DPPI

Missing day three completely and the final 200km of stage 10, Brinkman and Moscatt still produced solid performances when the car wasn’t letting him down.

Back in Australia and recovering after the intense fortnight, Brinkman was proud of attending the event.

“It was probably tougher than I expected. Mentally more than anything,” Brinkman said.

“They were really long days and I just couldn’t get my head around the length of some of the distances – each day felt like groundhog day and it was just such a hard event.

“With that said, I had a ball, and I can see why people go back to it year and year. I truly wish I could do it again soon.

“It was never about the trophy. It was about the goal of doing Dakar because it is one of the biggest challenges that you will ever do, so I am pleased that I was able to be part of it despite several mechanical issues.

“With the last two days we had a good run. I am not disappointed. I don’t care too much for the result more for the experience and I got every bit of that which I loved.

“It was always going to be a different experience than what I am used to, but I couldn’t have done it without Dale. His ability is what got us through. The navigator may not always be imperative to a race, but in this case, Dale’s work was critical, and he did an amazing job.

“There were parts where it was down to the navigator. We did get lost a couple of times, but his ability that got us back on track was crucial, so a big thanks to him for his work.

“Also, a big thanks to all the people back home who supported us from afar. It was mind-blowing how much positivity we got.”

View the full results.

Brinkman will miss the opening round of the 2024 AORC season but will begin his 2024 campaign at Tatts Finke Desert Race in June, before tackling the rest of the season.