Motorsport Jobs: The qualities needed to work on the Dakar Rally

The Dakar Rally is arguably the toughest rally event in the world, spanning two weeks across some of the harshest terrains in rallying and requires highly-skilled individuals to succeed

Motorsport Jobs: The qualities needed to work on the Dakar Rally

In 2018 there were 14 stages that varied in distances from short runs up to 500-560 miles of rallying per day, putting a real strain on man and machine.

Drivers and the team must navigate across deserts, mud, rocks among others while also travelling at incredible speeds and this year's event spanned Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.

Only 55% of the field's competitors completed the gruelling event in January, meaning that is essential to have the right people working for your team in order to reach the checkered flag.

The privateer X-raid outfit has competed in the Dakar rally for the last 15 years, winning four times, and team boss Sven Quandt understands the benefits of good teamwork and the impact of hiring the right people.

It currently competes with the Mini John Cooper Works Rally car, with a proven track record in cross-country rallies.

"The Dakar Rally is a great event, but it is extremely strenuous. It means a lot of work, little sleep, and little privacy. The weather conditions can cause you a lot of trouble.

"It is a challenge for everyone involved that can be addictive - or an event that you can take part in once and never again."

Working for a team competing in the Dakar Rally requires a certain dedication and technical expertise that you will not find in any other form of motorsport.

"In order to be able to work in a top team, you need appropriate training," adds Quandt. "Smaller teams pay less attention to this, but this is reflected in the payment.

"We need more mechanics to prepare the vehicles and for the Dakar, as our permanent staff is not enough. In most cases, we can rely on people who have been travelling with us to the Dakar for many years."

Working in close proximity with your colleagues and reacting to any problems that the Dakar rally can throw up requires a particular set of skills.

"Basically you should be able to speak English and be very willing to travel," said Quandt. "You don't necessarily need experience in motorsport, but it is important that people work with concentration and are aware that any failure can lead to a breakdown of the vehicle. This must also be the case in stressful situations."

While Quandt did not place a premium on motorsport knowledge, it's clear the ability to work under pressure in stressful situations is what makes for a successful candidate who can then compete in the hardest rally in the world.

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