Team Chinook

Team Chinook

June 08, 2009 13:33 ET

Team Chinook to Be the First Canadian Team to Finish the Dakar Rally on 4 Wheels

Team Chinook raises funds and awareness for The Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada and Minimally Invasive Surgery at Toronto East General Hospital while they prepare to take on the Dakar Rally.

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 8, 2009) - On January 2, 2010 Team Chinook will take the starting line in the most watched motor race in the world ... the Dakar Rally. They plan to be the first Canadian Team to complete the Dakar Rally on 4 wheels, with Co-Driver Glenna Chestnutt being the first North American woman to compete the Dakar Rally.

The Dakar Rally has been called the world's most dangerous race and one of the last great adventure quests left on Earth. Over its 30-year history, it has claimed 50 lives. The Dakar Rally which lasts 15 days, crosses Mountains, deserts, plains and about 10,000 kilometers, mostly off road, while hosting nightly bivouacs of more than 2,000 people. 80% of participants are amateurs like Canadian driver Conor Malone and his navigator Glenna Chestnutt.

Their custom vehicle might look like a modified pickup, but it's actually vastly different. The chrome-moly space frame chassis, houses a mid mounted LS3 Corvette engine, with a mandated air-restrictor which will limit horsepower and level the playing field for amateur and professional alike. The vehicle, classed as a "Car" is very similar to a Baja style Pro-Truck, with over 20" of wheel travel. The biggest difference with the Pro-Truck, being an enclosed cab, which should come in handy in the possible sub zero conditions over the Andes, and also during the desert stages, if they encounter sand storms.

For 31 years the Dakar has been providing opportunities, to those willing to challenge it, professional and amateurs alike. Each January almost a thousand hopeful participants roar over the starting line, with great enthusiasm, only to have their hopes and dreams dashed, when their race ends in mechanical failure, or a crash. Less than half the field will even finish the 15 day endurance rally. Team Chinook is hoping their meticulous preparations, will make the difference for them.

The rally started out as the Paris Dakar rally but each year it ran a slightly different course, some years starting in Dakar and some years not going anywhere near Dakar. In 2008 after several French tourists were killed in Mauritania, there was a decision to move the Rally from Africa to South America, due to security concerns. Conor and Glenna were in Argentina this year, to watch the 2009 edition and gain an understanding of the terrain.

Team Chinook is raising money and awareness for two charities, The Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada and Toronto East General Hospital Minimally Invasive Surgery, with the help of over a dozen volunteers who help run golf tournaments, arrange wine tours, and arrange appearances for the team at events like the Beaches Easter Parade. In addition to the race costs, they hope to raise another $250,000 to be split between the two charities.

To Veiw the Dakar Vehicle go to or to

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