Rally star just misses top ten

Tough: Kirrawee's Dale Moscatt battled the sands of Saudi Arabia with fellow Sydneysider Molly Taylor finishing in 14th place in the 2022 Dakar Rally.Picture South Racing
Tough: Kirrawee's Dale Moscatt battled the sands of Saudi Arabia with fellow Sydneysider Molly Taylor finishing in 14th place in the 2022 Dakar Rally.Picture South Racing

Rest and time with the family are top of the list for Kirrawee rally ace Dale Moscatt after a character-building two weeks competing in the famous Dakar Rally.

Dale, 47, arrived home on Sunday night after the world's longest motorsport event finished in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Friday.

As co-driver (navigator) for fellow Sydneysider Molly Taylor, 33, the pair tackled the Dakar in a Can-Am Maverick XRS with the backing of the South Racing Can-Am Factory Team. They raced in the 47 strong SSV category.

Finishing 14th, at times, they were as high as eighth and as low as 26th.

"Our plan was to ease ourselves in because there is so much to learn and the terrain is so different. The roadbook is also written differently.

"You get each day's instructions five minutes before you start, so it needs to become intuitive."Dale said

"Everything was going to plan but then we got caught out badly on stage four."

Dale said because of the varied terrain, each car set-up is a compromise. If it works well on hard, flat surfaces, it's not so good in the sand dunes and vice versa.

Setting their car up for the whole event,it kicked hard at the rear if it had to cross two bumps in succession.

"Neither of us picked up two big humps close together, so the car shot up into the air and we damaged the suspension when we landed."

Dale and Molly were able to get 90 per cent of the repair work done - but they didn't have the lower front wishbone,and had to wait for their team parts truck to arrive for over two hours.

"We set off again, but that was about 20 minutes before dark and we still had 200 km to go in the dunes, which was very difficult.

"It's dangerous enough during the day but multiplied in absolute pitch-dark-that was definitely the low point."

Despite demoralising days - which also included their brakes catching fire on the final stage, there were positives.

"Our teammates, are very experienced, and we were setting similar times as them on many sectors, so we are happy knowing we could match them when everything was going our way.

"We finished, many didn't."

Dakar was Dale's 400th event. He's not sure he will notch up 500, but he will be giving it everything he has.