Annett Fischer speaks on racing and finishing Dakar Rally 2021- amazing 2nd Overall in Lightweight Prototypes

Annett Fischer speaks on racing and finishing Dakar Rally 2021- amazing 2nd Overall in Lightweight Prototypes

Annett Fischer speaks on racing and finishing Dakar Rally 2021 in remarkable 2nd place Overall in Lightweight Prototype class. Along-side driver Camelia Liporati, the only female duo in the entire Dakar Rally raced a superbly executed race strategy of patience, consistency, smart maneuvering over terrain to maximize potential to complete all 12 Stages.

Camelia Liporati and Annett Fisher racing Dakar Rally 2021 Photo courtesy Yamaha Racing.

For certain, the feat to finish Dakar for total of 555 competitors remains challenging. There are so many variables that affect performance, from racing as sole rider in Bike category, to synching all communications within pair and 3-Team set-up in Car, SSV and Truck categories, to reaching bivouac in daylight to having Team’s crew work through the night checking that all vehicle’s mechanics are ready to race the next Stage following day.

From personal perspective, competitors need human instinct of survival, to fight to the very end, to dig deep when difficulties occur and to stay tuned in to sixth sense when scouring for unforeseen problems.

For Annett, her remarkable ability to recognize when to dial back on route, when to take in magic of racing amongst most stunning scenery, when to spot hotspot of mechanical trouble and when to really appreciate racing Dakar Rally 2021 amid world-wide pandemic- was stellar through-out Dakar 2021.

Achieving 2nd place Overall in Lightweight Prototype along with 1st in Women’s category was remarkable victory. Given the pair had endured relegation to continue racing Dakar Rally 2020 in ‘Dakar Experience’ category due to mechanical problem, Annett and Camelia had ‘score to settle with this year’s Dakar‘. Annett: ‘this was something unexpected for us to finish 2nd in Lightweight T3 category. It is an incredible feeling’.

Camelia Liparoti and Annett Fischer Dakar Rally 2021 Photo Credit: X Raid

Goals had been put in place- not just based on experience as Camelia was now racing her 13th Dakar, and Annett has raced side-by-side since 2008- but racing Dakar is about being smart, ‘to be consistent, not always full gas, and drive safe to save the vehicle from breakdowns‘.

Annett: ‘Camelia is a very good driver in the dunes, she has really good feeling on how to take them from her experience racing Dakar in Quad category for 9 years. We took it very easy in the stony sections as you can break your car there. If you push you will not finish. Other competitors would overtake us and then appear on the side of the route within next few kms having broken something’. 

And yes, there is luck. Annett admits, at times luck was on their side, not just once but twice. With miscalculation coupled with problem at re-fueling station, Annett realized she had not put enough fuel in – making final kms to finish Stage extremely stressful on whether vehicle would make it. Suffice to say, someone was returning a favour which both Camelia and Annett well deserve, and they inched to end of Stage.

Second moment of ‘Dakar Experience’ was sourcing hunch that something could be amiss with vehicle when they reached end of marathon Stage. Annett checked car with time allowed between finishing Stage and returning to bivouac to find no nut on bolt connecting rear wheel to chassis. Repair was made using nut of wheel.

Camelia Liporati and Annett Fischer Dakar Rally podium Photo Credit: ASO

If racing Dakar Rally remains ‘dare to dream for those who seek ultimate test of physical endurance’, the world’s most grueling Rally also remains a test of each competitors mode of operation to perform under the clock. Such a challenge is not learnt from a book, not learnt from racing X number of World Rallies, not learnt from previous results, but rather a composition of life experience and passionate instinct to embrace the unknown to achieve success.

Header Photo: Camelia Liporati (left) and Annett Fischer Dakar Rally 2021 podium closing ceremony, Photo Credit: ASO.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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