Stephane Peterhansel. Photo Courtesy of Akody.
Stephane Peterhansel. Photo Courtesy of Akody.

It is fair to see that the love of Africa has never left 13-times Dakar Winner Stephane Peterhansel. He is back to where it all started, Africa.

Stephane Peterhansel is back in Africa to where it all started, for the 44th Edition of the Bandama Rally. Most of you would have never heard of the Bandama Rally. The Bandama Rally takes place in the Ivory Coast in West Africa. Temperature range from 30-40 degrees with 100% humidity, pretty much all year long.

A quick history lesson and why the Bandama is such a mystic name

The Bandama is the name of a 800km river in the Ivory Coast and it is also the name of a once WRC race that was ‘really difficult’ – when we mean difficult, we mean so difficult that in 1972, no one finished within the allowed time. Nobody. No winner was declared!

Behind this race, is a name not often talked about, Jean-Claude Bertrand. Racing with his friends from one plantation to the next in the 60s (who ever was last had to buy beers), Jean-Claude created the first edition of the Bandama Rally in 1969.

Jean-Claude Bertrand is also the precursor to the cross-country rally raid concept with his insane Abidjan-Nice (Cote d’Ivoire to Cote d’Azur) races. Read more about the original race that led to the creation of the Paris-Dakar (now named the Dakar Rally).

The 44th Edition of the Bandama Rally

This week-end (23-25 February 2018), another famous racer, nicknamed Mr. Dakar, Stephane Peterhansel – will participate in the mystical Bandama Rally for the first time aboard a SSV Yamaha YXR 1000R with his partner Andrea Mayer as his co-pilot. He also talks about his memories crossing African Villages during the Paris-Dakar years and the big smiles of the kids along the way. Stephane also talks about the Africa Eco Race and a return to racing long distance raids in Africa in future years, possible. The interview is in French, but you should be able to get all the important “keywords.”


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