Dakar Summer Camp: Life in the Bivvy
Dakar organizing body ASO sets up a rolling camp called a bivouac at the end of each day. These huge camps are logistical marvels that are fenced off and only accessible to race teams, credentialed media, and local VIPs. Once inside the bivouac, you have unlimited access to all of the race teams right before your eyes. However, don't expect to strike up a conversation with Robby Gordon on the finer points of shock valving.
Drivers and riders are often recovering from the strenuous activity of the rally while their support teams are partaking in their own strenuous activity: repairing damage sustained during the special stages. Each bivouac holds not only the teams and their vehicles, but also a dining hall to feed 2,500 hungry people, showers to knock the dust off at the end of the day, and a media center complete with a rolling video editing studio that produces race coverage in near-real time. All before packing up and leapfrogging ahead of the racers to the next bivouac to repeat the process once more. -Harry Wagner