First time as a competitor Camelia Liparoti on her KTM 525 XC ATV.
KTM is no stranger to setting records at the Dakar, the most gruelling offroad test on the international racing circuit.
But this year when Italian photographer and journalist Camelia Liparoti opens the throttle of her KTM 525 XC ATV on the starting line, it signals two more firsts for the "Made in Austria" machines.
Liparoti is the first rider of a KTM ATV in the race that this year traverses over 9.574 km of the toughest terrain that Argentina and Chile can deliver, and she will be the first woman to do so on the new orange machine.
First time as a competitor
The Italian rider, who has previously participated in the Dakar as a journalist will now see the race from an entirely new perspective and she describes the new adventure as a childhood dream come true. "This is the first participation for me and my quad as a competitor at Dakar," she said. "It will be a very difficult race, I will try and stay focused and in harmony with my KTM ATV that I adore. It will be a double discovery: a new quad with extraordinary performances and a route through two fascinating countries."
Proven passion for rallies
A resident of the Chamonix Valley in France, Liparoti is no stranger to mountain environments and this will no doubt help her as she crosses back and forth across the Andes Mountains that will elevate her and other competitors into oxygen robbing altitudes. A rock climber and mountaineering enthusiast, she also has the courage and stamina to attack the 15-day epic. She has also been a competitor in other rallies such as the Shamrock, the Dakar Series and the Pharaons' Rally, all that were very good preparation for this year's edition of the Dakar.
KTM ATVs register strong performances
KTM ATVs may have only hit the US market in 2007 and in Europe in 2008, but the elegant sports machines have already made aficionados of the 4-wheel racers sit up and take notice. GNCC Pro factory team of Tim Farr, Adam McGill and Taylor Kiser were successful in pulling off the surprise factor when they crossed the checkered flag in second place in their first ever shot at the legendary 48-hours Ponte de Vaux race earlier this season. Farr, one of KTM's American factory riders and 13-times ATV Pro Champion also caused a sensation at the Erzberg Rodeo when he placed second in the Erzberg Iron Road Prologue riding the KTM ATV. Farr's finish was at least 60 places better than any ATV had ever achieved on the Iron Mountain during former editions of the Erzberg Rodeo.