Image for Madness in the Desert: Paris to DakarNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour

Documentary telling the story of the world's craziest race.

In 1977 French motorcyclist Thierry Sabine was in serious trouble, lost in the Libyan desert and dying from thirst. Whilst most men would weep and think back over their lives, Thierry thought about coming back - to do a rally across the Sahara Desert. The 9,000km Paris-Dakar rally was born.

The rally became a beacon for eccentric adventurers battling the terrain in customised vehicles, seduced by the romance of the desert and the extreme challenge. It soon became a victim of its own rapid success. Caught up in controversy and with a total of over 60 deaths, in 2008 this incredible event was brought to an end in Africa by terrorism.

Featuring winners Cyril Neveu, Hubert Auriol, Jean Louis Schlesser, Ari Vatanen, Stephane Peterhansel, Martine De Cortanze, former participant Sir Mark Thatcher and many more, this is the story of the biggest motorsport event the world has ever seen and one of the greatest challenges of human endeavour ever conceived, told by those that took part.

How the West took on a landscape of incredible beauty and scale. And lost.

Last on

Wed 2 Apr 2014 00:50 BBC Four

Credits

Producer
John L Matthews
Director
John L Matthews
Director
Richard Heap

Broadcasts

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