Congratulations to the MyHeritage Team on Completing the Dakar Rally 2021!

Congratulations to the MyHeritage Team on Completing the Dakar Rally 2021!

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The MyHeritage Team has completed the Dakar Rally, with an overall driving time of 114 hours 49 minutes and 36 seconds. What a ride it has been! We couldn’t be prouder of driver Danny Pearl, and his co-driver, navigator Charly Gotlib and the rest of the team. Their determination saw them through to the finish of one of the most grueling car races around the world. 

Over the past two weeks, they covered over 8000 kilometers through Jeddah, Bisha, Wadi Ad-Dawasir, Riyadh, Al Qaisumah, Ha’il, Sakaka, Neom, Alula, Yanbu, and back to Jeddah. They ventured throughout the desert bracing nearly impossible conditions, all while overlooking the unique beauty of the Arabian desert and the Red Sea.

Here is a recap of the last few days from our hardworking team on the ground in Saudi Arabia: 

Thursday

Today wasn’t the team’s best day of the race, or to be more exact, it wasn’t their best night! 

Everything started well at the beginning of the day. They were on a route by the Red Sea on very rocky terrain that forced the team to go slow so that they wouldn’t damage the car. 

When the sun went down, they still had another 150 km to go until the end of the stage, and driving at night is much more challenging in many ways. 

The team was able to navigate their way through the canyons, and although they lost their way a few times they managed to find the right way and finish the stage at midnight. 

Friday

Every day of the competition is a world in and of itself, and each day is completely different from the day before. On Friday the team finished the special earlier than on the previous day coming back to the camp with time to prepare for the biggest day of the competition. 

The MyHeritage team drove on many rocky dunes until they switched to sandy roads. There were incredible views and spectacular sights that were movie-like. The huge canyons, mountains, and rocks in the Arabian desert are truly breathtaking. The team competed well and they had an overall smooth and enjoyable ride. There were no punctured tires and no navigation mistakes during the day. 


Many teams end up backing out of the competition throughout the event due to technical and driving errors that cause damage to their cars. Entering curves at high-speeds can cause critical and significant damage. It is also very difficult to make complex repairs in the field with the means that are available to the team. The main goal in the race is long-term survival and to try to avoid mistakes that can cause damage. This is extremely difficult given the long and tiring days on such little sleep. 

In the dark, the team had another 150 km to go and they reached a cluster of sand dunes. The crew entered one dune at a high speed, and they capsized, with some damage done to their vehicle. They had to start repairing the car in the field. Every day, two Special Recovery teams set out, one in a Toyota Land Cruiser and another in a truck. Their job is to provide assistance during the race to allow the teams to finish the day. Unfortunately, the MyHeritage Team required their assistance for the first time at this point. 

A decision was made to go back to the main road so that they could reach the camp at a normal time and so that the mechanic could work on the car. 

Tomorrow is Dakar’s last stage, with a special of approximately 200 km. We know that it will not be easy, and we will have to deal with a chain of dunes one after the other until the finish line on the coast of the Red Sea.

Jeddah, the city that the team set out from just 12 days ago, is just around the corner!

Saturday

They did it! Today the MyHeritage Team crossed the finish line of the Dakar Race of Saudi Arabia 2021. After taking off from Jeddah on January 3, driver Danny Pearl and co-driver Charly Gotlib have completed their treacherous journey and reached the end.

The last special was very difficult, with many dunes that the crew had to cross and of course particularly difficult navigation. Luckily, except for one flat tire, everything went smoothly and the team finished Dakar Rally 2021.

Well done to the MyHeritage Team!

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