By SHAMAOMA MUSONDA –
ZAMBIA’S top rider, David Reeve flew out to Argentina to take part in the world’s toughest motoring race, the 2014 Dakar Rally.
He was seen off by friends, fans and relatives at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka and declared he wanted to finish the race this time.
The Mazabuka rider, who has dominated the local moto-cycle race, is expected to arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina today after a night stop in South Africa before getting ready for the race that starts on January 5.
As Reeve, the only Zambian to have ever taken part in the Dakar Rally, was leaving for South America, some sponsors also kept stringing in to aid his campaign which last year ended unceremoniously after he broke his leg.
“We have had two or more sponsorships that came in. There was K5,000 from the Gosling Family and another $3,000 (about K17, 000) from Greenbelt Fertilisers. Many thanks – it really is never too late for more sponsors.
“There was also $1,500 (about K8, 500) from Andrew Spyron. Thanks guys, it all helps to get closer to the target. Every bit adds up. All equipment is on the plane now to Buenos Aires. Excitement begins now,” he said.
Reeve stated that he had unfinished business with the Dakar Rally which last year left him with a broken leg.
While still in hospital, Reeve declared that he would be back for the rally that was moved from Dakar, Senegal to Argentina after security risks to participants.
The Dakar Rally has four categories namely the bikes, which Reeve is entered in, the quads (four-wheeler), the cars and the truck categories.
In Reeve’s category, there are currently 174 bikes entered with France leading the entry list with 27 and closely followed by Spain who have 24 bikes while Chile are third with 17.
The United States of America (USA) has just three entrants, two of whom are Reeve’s team mates.
These are Peter Hardy numbered 167 and Kevin Muggleton, who will be riding Number-186, with Reeve to be tagged 102.
South Africa has just two riders in Riaan van Niekerk and Bret Cummings
Reeve will be riding the KTM motorbike which is one of the most popular at the event with 63 bikes, representing 36 per cent of the total bikes in the race.
Yamaha is next with 40 bikes while Honda has 34.