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50 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE

50 DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2016 1603 DT Baragwanath.indd 50 2016/02/21 11:50 AM

LOCAL HERO! Catching up with SA’s top Quad racer... Brian Baragwanath - 3rd at this years Dakar rally. As you all know by now, Brian Baragwanath is back from The Dakar rally where he achieved 3rd overall in the quad category. He won the third stage to confirm his place on the final podium, scoring the Stage 13 victory ahead of Giuliano Giordana and Sergei Karyakin. We’ve been watching this multiple SA champ since he first started racing way back when. Is this the pinnacle of his ATV career? Before he left for this years event, this is what he had to say... “I’ve wanted to do the Dakar all my life. I started racing on quads when I was eleven. After competing in the USA, the Dakar was the next big challenge. Last year was my first Dakar. I had a perfect season but once on the event I suffered bad luck from day 1. I first had engine issues on stage 1 and then punctured a tyre the second day but had no support rider to help me out. It’s terrible to think that I pulled out of the race because of a punctured tyre. Anyhow, it was a great learning experience. I stayed on the Dakar to support our other rider and got to understand more about the logistics of the race and what we need to do to perform well. I’m therefore showing up a lot more prepared for this one. I’ve made a few changes and feel ready after again winning the South African off-road championship. My ambition is to push for the Top 3, but I need to finish and be consistent. I first have to survive until the rest day without making any big mistakes “. And that’s exactly what he and his team mates did. Team Rhide SA flew SA’s flag very proudly with both Ted Barbier and Brian beating the challenge. Unfortunately George Twigge had to retire with terminal engine problems at stage 8... We caught up with Brian and asked him about his experiences: DIRT & TRAIL MAGAZINE MARCH 2016 51 1603 DT Baragwanath.indd 51 2016/02/21 11:50 AM