RENO, Nev. — Leaving the snow and the snowplows behind for another summer of sun and fun in the desert, Minnesota’s Peter Hajas has earned the Dakar Challenge 2013 special program that provides him with the opportunity of a life time to race in the 2014 Dakar Rally in South America.
Earning his entry package into the Dakar by recording the fastest adjusted time combined from two major desert races — the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 in June and last weekend’s Eldorado HDRA Reno 500, Hajas and his team now must begin making their plans for next January’s Dakar Rally.
Hajas, 53, of Wayzata, Minn., was seventh in his class at the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 out of 22 starters and won his class at the Eldorado HDRA Reno 500 out of 10 starters in a Chevy-powered Kreger open-wheel desert race car. After factoring his class coefficient to adjust his time, Hajas earned the top spot in the Dakar Challenge 2013.
“It’s a huge honor to win the first Dakar Challenge in North America, but it is also a bit intimidating,” said Hajas. “It is a big opportunity for us as we have always been intrigued by the Dakar Rally just like we grew up always wanting to race one of the legendary SCORE Baja races. We have to sort a lot of things out, but now it looks like we will be fulfilling another longtime dream my brother Steve and I have had.”