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Paris to Dakar is one of the toughest races around, a marathon race crossing the Sahara desert. In 2000 Mercedes M-Classes participated for the first time and placed first and third in the toughest category - unmodified production class. Philippe Alliot (born 27 July 1954 in Voves, Eure-et-Loir, France) is a former Formula One driver who participated during the years 1984 to 1990 and 1993 to 1994. He raced for RAM, Ligier, Larrousse and McLarenAfter announcing his retirement from Formula One in 1995, he decided to try a career in politics, also did some TV commentary and competed in ice racing and the Paris-Dakar Rally, but ended running his own GT racing team.
The Dakar Rally (or simply "The Dakar"; formerly known as "The Paris Dakar Rally" and now as "The Lisbon Dakar Rally") is an annual off-road race, organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation. The race is open to amateur and professional entries; amateurs typically make up about eighty percent of the participants.Despite its name, it is an off-road endurance race rather than a conventional rally â€“ the terrain the competitors traverse is much tougher and the vehicles used are true off-road vehicles rather than the modified sedans used in rallies. Most of the competitive specials are off-road, crossing dunes, mud, camel grass, rocks.