Physical Condition - GOOD - currently preparing (again) for a CF (Canadian Forces) Afghan Deployment - I consider myself in GOOD shape for my age however I am NOT a hard core runner - more weights and CrossFit - looking to do a LOT more CrossFit this year
Riding Level - Advanced Amateur - I have 4 ATV's - 2 racing, 2 utility (none are truly equipped for long distance rally distances) - I have NOT done TRACK RACING...going in circles carries little interest to me - neither does going stupid fast for 7-10 minutes on an xtremely tight track. I have taken on multiple 8+ hour riding trails at above a leisurely pace...but hardly at a level I would consider a true rally would be raced at. I DO have access to tracks as well as multiple friends who are North American top 20 racers who I can lean on for assistance (they are motocross track racers - NOT ATV racers...nor rally racers). I am also in touch with several Canadian Dakar racers - have met several and feel there is local support from those individuals if someone was SERIOUS about taking on the DAKAR.
Mechanical Skill: Negligible - I would really have to pick this skill up from the very basics and move forward with it.
Finances - GOOD QUESTION - looking for assistance and direction on this as well. Since this is a 3-5 yr plan - My first year is mostly about using the equipment I already have rather than buying new. Mostly an investment in TIME, off-trail training etc. 2nd yr I'd likely want to INVEST in a more suitable ATV - note that I have used both 2 and 4 wheel QUADS and believe whole heartedly in the utility of 4x4 - therefore I'd likely make this purchase a CAN-AM Utility or CAN-AM Sport Quad (Renegade 4x4 Sport Quad).
My research for the final 18 months prior to a true Dakar entry submission and attempt would be a budget of approx 85K US for a serious attempt - that would include support services from Rally Pan-Am or other such organization as well as 3-5 trips that year down to Rally Pan-Am for 3 day weekend desert training sessions to learn road book and IRITRACK systems in addition to desert / sand riding...we don't have a lot of desert in Canada). Of course 85K now may very well be 110K in 5 years time.....hard to tell. A yearly breakdown of goals and milestones from a on-trail / off-trail perspective as well as finances expected to "invest" each year is also of interest.
Are there other North American DISTANCE rally's that I could use for pure long distance riding skill and stamina development? (Remember..for Quads & ATV's). Yes..very aware of SCORE BAJA series Rally's and am interested. There is a 24 hour rally near Quebec City that is easily drivable in a day.....but looking for others.