What is the Dakar?

The Dakar is widely known as one of the most adrenaline filled and, arguably, the most enduring motorsport events in the world, which can only be completed after sufficient and scrupulose preparations. It requires abnormal stamina and durability of both the pilots and the vehicle and the corresponding level of professionalism.

The Dakar Rally takes place on the yearly basis and is organised by the Amauri Sport Organistation (ASO), the very same entity that stands behind many prestigious sporting events, including Tour De France and Marathon de Paris.

Although it is not held under the umbrella of Fédération Internationale de l‘Automobile (FIA), the Dakar is still ran according to the FIA regulations. The FIA is the governing body of the world’s motorsport and the federation of the world’s leading motoring associations. Thus, the safety of the cars and participants is maintained at the highest standard.

The race itself lasts two weeks and is apprixmately 10,000 km long. The participants are expected to cruise through perilous and hostile off-road terrain with no gPs coordinates or any other electronic means of navigation. The only tools that can be utilized in order to remain on course are hard copy road books with very limited indications of the route, and tripmeters to measure the distance between the instructions.

No participant is allowed to receive any external help with the exception of that coming from other competitors.

Thus, every year the highest degree of complexity propels the interest to Dakar further and further.


Autolife Team is the first ever team from Cyprus to participate in The Dakar. Our team is highly qualified and has tens of thousands of kilometers of off-road racing under their belts. They are ready to take on any challenge that would pose before them at The Dakar 2017 and are highly anticipating to engage in the biggest event of the world’s motorsport in order to give their supporters joyful moments and defend the honor of Cyprus on the international stage!
Name: Roman Starikovich
Born: 23 October 1973, Smolensk, USSR
Profession: CEO Orpheus Group
Offroad experience: - Cross African Expedition Port Said
- Mombasa 2008 - Trans African Expedition Alexandria
- Capetown 2009
- Transmediterranean Expedition 2010
- Australian Round Expedition 2011
- East Safari Rally 2016
- Palmtree Rally 2016
- Nicosia Rally Sprint 2016
- Limassol Sprint Rally 2016
- Famagusta Rally 2016
- Hungarian Baja 2016
Total: Off Road desert trainings in Morocco, Tunisia and Libya since 2010. Overall more than 60.000 off road kilometers in Europe, Australia, and Africa

Name: Bert Heskes
Born: 21 June 1962, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Profession: Interim Manager
Offroad experience: - Expedition style off road travel since 1998
- Off Road driving instructor since 2003
- Off Road racing since 2008
- Dutch National Championships T1.1 and T1.2
- German Baja 300
- Libya Rally (5th overall)
- Dakar support in 2007
- Dakar co pilot 2016
- Hungarian Baja 2016
Total: In total more than 70.000 off road kilometers in Europe, Caribbean, Latin America, Australia, and Africa.

Our Car

Autolife Desert Warrior
Engine: BMW 3 litre Turbo Diesel 250 bhp (Dakar ECU mapping for extreme reliabilty)
Construction type: Tubular space frame chassis and roll cage with FIA homologation
Gearbox: ZF close ratio gearbox
Transfer box: LT230 Transfer box with competition centre diff
Axles: Modified and strengthened Land Rover Discovery mk2 heavy duty front and rear axles
Suspension: Fox ‚piggy-back‘ coil over dampers 2 per wheel with maximum allowed FIA 12” front and rear suspension travel
Fuel system: Twin fuel pumps and separate fuel systems for redundancy
Trip meter: Trip Master 303 plus with dual probes

Support Truck

Our team is backed with the another one, bigger car, having all necessary to make things running smoothly!

Mercedes Benz 2638 6×6 Service/Assistance Truck

Engine: V6, 12.7 Ltr, 280kw, Twin-turbo
Mileage: 450.000 km
Extras: Fully rebuilt in 2014 (engine, turbo, gear box, transfer case, steering rack, diffs)
2x spare wheels
Ladder to the top + safety fence.
Roll cage in the cabin + rally seats
1000 ltr fuel tank
400 ltr water tank
6kw generator, compressed air system + pipes
Folding sides
Working table + hutches.

Press car

In this journey we take one more car, which we call press car, for our management and media crews. The car actually many times approved its exceptional durability, he has even participated in two trans-African expeditions.


Engine: 2.8 Ltr, 67kw
Mileage: 900.000 km
Extras: Fully rebuilt in 2016 (engine, gear box, body)
2x spare wheels

What to expect from Autolife Team?

Our goal is to perform at the top of our abilities in order to secure the completion of all the stages, show best possible time, nish as far high in the table as possible and attract spectators and media attention with our charismatic pilots, bright yellow car and noticable marketing approach directed mainly at promoting those who support us.