Main content
This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Madness in the Desert: Paris to Dakar

Documentary telling the story of the world's craziest race, the 9,000km Paris-Dakar rally, a beacon for eccentric adventurers battling the desert terrain in customised vehicles.

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 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 who took part.

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

1 hour

Last on

Tue 19 Jul 2016 02:00


Role Contributor
Producer John L Matthews
Director John L Matthews
Director Richard Heap


BBC Sport: Motorsport

BBC Sport: Motorsport

The latest Motorsport news plus live results, standings, video, blogs and analysis.