#Dakar2016 Annie Seel “Today, things finally get serious”

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Buenos Aires 2016-01-02
Dakar rally 2016

“Today, things finally get serious”

A super-relaxed Annie Seel shares her thoughts and feelings the day before it all really gets going.

Annies focus is now clearly on Dakar 2016.

Tomorrow is the 3rd of January: the prolog in Buenos Aires, then laison to Rosario. A year of planning and preparation is finally over. Today Annie and her co-driver Bert Heskes (NL) will take their Dessert Warrior through scrutineering.

Annie’s passion for the”hardest rally-raid in the world” is tangible. The goose bumps that she shows me on her arms as she tells me that “Today, things finally get serious” are infectious, maybe signaling an end to Annies laid-back run-up to the over 9000 km trial of (wo)man and machine.

We talk of Annie’s primary goal of completing the Dakar for the first time on 4 wheels (after 5 finishes on 2) and of how the tinyest problem can lead to a retirement when unfortunate circumstances and coincidence are combined. Being the fastest female is also on Annie’s to-do list!


Annie is known for keeping her head under pressure, and she is quietly confident of her, as yet unproven, co-driver Bert Heskes. Bert says that they have a natural understanding of each other, making communication simple. Bert comes with a depth of mechanical experience, having raced his own Dessert Warrior for several years.

When pressed, Annie admits that when the “shit hits the fan” she may well stay calm, but might “strangle Bert slowly”

The Desert Warriors gleaming paint is as yet unscarred. The bonnet displaying the names of many of Annies micro-sponsors. Again this year Annie is being supported by many of her fans, some who have bought a kilometer of Annie race, and others have contributed to see their names on the bright yellow bodywork.

You can follow Annie on Facebook, Instagram and

Dakar official website:
By David Trenholm
davidatdakar <at>

All competitors in Team RallyRaid

Class: Auto T1.2
#373 Annie Seel/Bert Heskes
#396 Derk Pierce/Jim Pierce
#411 Bruno Rodi/Glen Thompson

Class: Truck T4
#553 Paul Round (teamchef)/Arjan Arendse/Joe Yanas

SVT SPORT: Annie Seel i #Dakar2015

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Tv-intervju i SVT SPORT:
Seel: ”Känns kul att ta ledarflaggan”

Ingen annan svensk har gjort det tidigare: kört Dakarrallyt i både bil och motorcykelklassen.
I januari blir Annie Seel historisk.
–Känns kul att ta ledarflaggan när jag hållit på med motorsport så länge, säger Seel till SVT Sport.

Se hela intervjun på


Presskonferens: Annie Seel goes #Dakar2015

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Idag höll jag presskonferens inför min historiska start i Dakarrallyt 4 jan 2015.
Intresset var stort och alla “stora” media har gjort intervjuer.

Lyssna på radio P4 Extra när Lasse Bengtsson intervjuar mig:


Stages #Dakar2015 are officially announced

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All stages of the Dakar 2015 are now official.


Day 5. Out of race

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The mechanics were still working this morning to repair the car. But we ran out of time, the start control closed at 9:05. 

Sadly, we are now out of race.
– Engine won’t turn. Piston rods big end ceased, overheated brakes etc. Cause of death: hole in oil line. –

smiley-big-cry_150Garry and me are sobbing and having the “post mortem” talk. He is devastated, this was his go for a dakar finish, and we know that we could have made it when it was up to our ability and race strategy. “The turtle” failed us as victim of the “fesh-fesh death”.
My first withdrawal ever.

dakar2014-byggy-repair-top_640So disappointing for both of us not to continue the race. Just because of a bloody little hole, that we fixed out there on the course. But later it caused the major engine breakdown.

dakar2014-byggy-repair-under_640Our mechanics had a very busy night as also our team partner world champion Nico Duclos was towed in with a broken gearbox.
The same problem hit Yasir Saedan earlier on this stage.

Garry and me slept only 2 hours but were ready to take off on stage 5 at 7:30. But the time was too short to make all repairs, it’s not allowed to change the whole engine like on bikes.
Below: Dakar rules 32P Engine change


We also had a coffee session with #320 Chicherit’s codriver Brucy – their car went up in flames completely.

So we’re better off, we still have a buggy (yet in pieces). 😉

VIDEOs by Marie Hessel (images are screenshots).
1) Annie tells about the terrible stage 4 at 3:20 in the morning, after 20 hrs riding in the car (swedish)
* Also on


2) Annie in the morning about failing to start stage 5 (swedish): “nobody gives up the dakar dream…”
* Also on


Bye bye “Turtle buggy”! #366 crossed out.  And we are as cross as two sticks.


Sportnytt idag på teve etc

Posted on Updated on Sportnytt – idag 8 jan 2014, kl 17.55
Annie berättar via telefon om Dakar, vid ca 3:20, av tot 5 min.
OBS! Programmet är tillgängligt bara till 15 jan.


English: “We take it slow and easy to save our energy and also the car for the rest of the rally. There will be tough days later on…”

Video with camera on board vehicles, several clips, total 2:30 min
Enjoy the ride!

Tough race – good equipment

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annie-equipment-dakar2014_520x670General feelings and thoughts about the importance of personal equipment:

I’m very content with my Simpson neck protection, just great! Stabilizing when reading the roadbook, I get no neck ache. I put it on before race start and won’t take it off until finished the stage, regardless what I must do in between.
Garry has as an ordinary type of neck guard; no good, he says – it fits badly, difficult to to take on and off when working with the car.

I have two Sabelt overalls from LM Motorsport. After the feshy stage that smeared everything it was nice to have a clean overall, while the service team washes the dirty.
     * The photo: last day sunbathing, then I’m two weeks fully covered by the overall during rally. 


The Bell helmet from G Partners is awsome, keeps all dust out.
And everybody thinks it 
looks really good! So true… 😉

I’m very greatful to all my sponsors.

Annie’s Dakar Video blog on

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Its up!
Now you can follow my swedish Dakar Video blog on
Already there are pre-rally videos showing what’s going on before the start of Dakar 2014.
I will show you stuff from behind the scenes and also try to report how the race is going.
I hope you all realize that transmitting from the desert can be very difficult, so updating the blog is maybe not so regular.

Daily broadcasting, approximate times (in Sweden)
Eurosport 1 starting Jan 5:  23.00, 1.00, 8.30 etc
Eurosport 2 starting Jan 6:  0.30, 9.30, 13.00 etc
* A hint: if you don’t already have Eurosport, sign up for a subscription on eurosportplayer (computer) for 69 SEK monthly (or equivalent amount in other currencies). 

Warming up, helmet on in Argentina

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Unpacked my brand new Bell Helmet, straight from the factory with my new but “old” yellow and black design!

The Killer Babe Rallyprincess laughing at her own design.
The stuffed toy is a copy of my little dog!