Monday, April 26th, 2010
Australian Dakar Rally pioneer Christophe Barriere-Varju is setting himself a new challenge for the 2011 Dakar Rally: to win the 2-wheel-drive (2WD) category aboard a single-seater buggy.

After accomplishing the unthinkable in the 2010 Dakar Rally, for his 5th participation in a row, Barriere-Varju will tackle the Atacama - the driest desert on Earth – as the first Australian to enter the category.

“I have been mentally and technically preparing for this since completing the 2007 Dakar Rally in Africa,” Barriere-Varju says. “For the 2011 Dakar Rally I will race and navigate on my own in a unique and very high-performing single-seater buggy that will surprise the worldwide media. This is a task no Australian has dared before.”

Barriere-Varju is seeking financial support from four large corporations to maximise individual media exposure for his partners.

“Australian companies have a fantastic opportunity to support Team Rally Australia and reap the benefits of local and global media exposure over 7 months leading the event,” the racing legend said. “We require a budget of US$250,000, a fraction of the cost compared to other teams where it costs on average US$600,000.”

Carlo de Gavardo, representing Chile, is seeking US$1.5m to race aboard a BMW similar to those of multiple Dakar winner Stephane Peterhansel. In the 2010 Dakar Rally, Carlo de Gavardo received financial support from the Chilean Tourism Government to compete in a Hummer prepared by the  Monster Energy Robby Gordon Team at a cost of US$1m.

“Our race vehicle will be environmentally friendly and emit very low carbon dioxide emissions, and due to its unique look, will put Australia on the tourism world map in a race broadcast across 190 countries worldwide,” the racer said. “Our marketing plan includes the support of television, radio and print media, and we would love to partner with the Australian Tourism Government to develop a strategy that will boost tourism and foreign travel to Australia.”

In Australia, Barriere-Varju will for the 5th year in a row be the face of the Dakar and provide insights to viewers on FoxSports and SBS, in addition to be providing interviews to other radio and print media.

“While most companies have adopted an insular strategy to fight the global financial crisis, other companies such as Hyundai have invested in their marketing campaign and are reaping the benefits. We want companies that have a similar philosophy to work on unique strategies and stand out in the face of adversity.”

Barriere-Varju’s consulting company, BvW Global, assists large clients generate millions of dollars in cost savings.

Barriere-Varju is not the quitting type, he completed a stage in the 2006 Dakar Rally with a dislocated shoulder, cracked nose, damaged kidney and knee, and three broken ribs. Later that year, he fought food poisoning unable to eat or drink for four days and losing 8kg to complete the nine-day round of the cross-countries world championship in Brazil.

Defying the 2010 Dakar demons and fighting sleep depravation, Barriere-Varju took on the Dakar Rally head on, with a trunk of spare parts, a tent/sleeping bag, spare wheels and his toolbox, and set out to succeed in the toughest and heavily mediatised race across 190 countries. Filmmaker Simon Lee filmed Christophe Barriere-Varju in his preparation and in the Dakar Rally race. Barriere-Varju was equipped with helmet cameras from to record all the daily action, including a death call with Robby Gordon’s Monster Energy 2WD Hummer. The release of the Dream Racer documentary is set for the end of 2010.
(refer to for more information).

For the 2010 Dakar Rally, Barriere-Varju received support from Hyundai, Motorcycling Australia,,, and Argentinean based logistics company

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Team Rally Australia

Christophe Barriere-Varju is the Australian face of the famous Dakar Rally. He has met and overcome many challenges and dreamed many dreams on the road to becoming one of the world’s leading off-road motorcycle racers. Born in France, raised in West Africa, and completing his education in California, Christophe started racing at the age of 14, winning legendary status around his hometown of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast for his skills and speed on a motorcycle. He once competed before a crowd of 220,000 spectators (a world first) at the West African Motocross des Nations, which he won five times. An inspiration to thousands of worldwide fans of all ages, Christophe is renowned for his impeccable riding techniques, and he has trained many riders in Africa, California and now an accredited motorcycle coach in Australia. His charity,, inspires children from around the world learn from each other despite language and culture differences.
Christophe Barriere-Varju
P: 0403 444 101


2011 Dakar Rally, 2010 Dakar Rally, Monster Energy, Carlo de Gavardo, Robbie Gordon, Hummer, Stephane Peterhansel, Nani Roma, Christophe Barriere-Varju, Atacama, Argentina, Chile, Australian Tourism, Single-seater, Buggy, Sports Camera, Hyundai, Waiver Lo



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