The dramatic story of the Italian driver who lost everything in a fire and is still in the race in the 2022 Dakar Rally

Liparoti Camelia in the preview of the Dakar Rally 2022 (Florent Gooden / DPPI – ASO) (Florent Gooden /)

One of the values ​​of Dakar Rally It is the solidarity between the majority of the competitors, something that is not seen in the pilots who fight for the victory, but in those who are amateurs and maintain the essence of the race that is taking place in its 44th edition and which for the third time has as its headquarters to Saudi Arabia. Every year there is a case of a participant who has a mishap and you see the camaraderie of the rest. This time the Italian Camellia Liparoti was the protagonist of this story.

She competes in the toughest race in the world since 2010 and raced ten times in Argentina. Now it participates in T3 Light Prototypes, a specialty of the UTV or Side by side category, which are sand vehicles. Its division was created in 2017 and is a good alternative for those who do not have the budget to be able to race in cars. After the start of the competition this Saturday, while Camelia played part A of the first stage with her prototype Yamaha YXZ1000R, she had an incident that could have left her out of the race.

His assistance truck, where the elements are transported to be able to repair the vehicle, which was also going to be the house of the Italian during these two weeks, while he moved from Jeddah and Hail suffered a fire and lost his computer, all his documentation and clothing, except for the flame retardant diver and helmet.

It is already the third known fire in the framework of the Dakar Rally 2022. The first was in the shakedown (pre-test) in the prototype of the Czechs Alexander Pesci and Stephan Kuhni. Then the news broke of the French pilot whose identity was reserved and the car caught fire in front of the Donatello Hotel in the city of Jeddah. The French competitor will be sent to his country and in Saudi Arabia the security conditions were extreme.

Camellia Liparoti
Camelia with her Yamaha prototype, which is assisted by the X-Raid Yamaha Racing Rally team and who gave her their help to continue in the race (Florent Gooden / DPPI / ASO) (Florent Gooden /)

“The 2022 Dakar Rally is not an adventure, it is almost a drama for me. Luckily, no one is injured, I am fine and healthy. My service truck and Dakar camping house caught fire last night on the way from Jeddah to Hail’s bivouac (camp) where we are now, and we lost everything including my passport, my computer, my clothes, my everything, my house”He lamented.

The Italian is known as the “Pink Panther” because she has been the promoter of the first hundred percent female team that competed in the Dakar Rally. Liparoti has finished 12 times in the mythical race and achieved the outstanding result of 2nd place in the T3 Light Prototypes category in 2021.

The official page of the Dakar Rally reports that it also won six World Championships in the women’s category of the International Motorcycle Federation (FIM). But she is not just into motorsports, as she was a language interpreter at first, then graduated from London with a degree in Sports Photography and has worked as an advertising photojournalist and ski photographer ever since.

Camellia Liparoti
Liparoti Camelia has been running in the Dakar Rally since 2020 and contested ten editions in Argentina (Julien Delfosse / DPPI / ASO) (Julien Delfosse /)

“I’m still a little shocked, like when you don’t think it’s true, when you wake up and it’s a nightmare, but it’s real. I lost everything and I don’t know what to do, stay in Jeddah or go home, but I don’t have a passport, so I have to solve this problem first, ”he added.

“So in the end I thought it was a good idea to continue the Dakar, do the prologue anyway, do the 600-kilometer road transfer tonight in the rain and cold. You can see a jacket that I got from X-Raid because I have no clothes, I do not have anything. I only have my race suit (flame retardant diver), helmet, race shoes and that’s it ”, he described.

She races with the assistance of the X-Raid team, who also gave her a hand in this difficult moment, a healthy habit of the Dakar Rally. “I thank the team and especially Tobias Quandt (team manager) have been very nice to me, everyone is trying to help me. I say I lost everything, but I feel like I belong to the Dakar family. Everyone is trying to help and I hope I can continue the Dakar. I don’t remember how I did the prologue, I couldn’t concentrate, but I finished it ”, he concluded.

This Sunday Camelia was 12th out of 22 drivers And no matter how the 2022 Dakar Rally ends, she has already won. She lost everything and without getting demoralized she went ahead with a very difficult career and is already a champion.


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