Scot Harden, vice president of media relations for KTM North America, was a member of the Red Bull KTM USA Dakar Rally team that blazed a trail through the desert of Northwest Africa.
The team was in its final testing phase in Tunisia, Africa, in December when rider Casey McCoy sustained a broken leg during one of the practice sessions. Harden, also the Red Bull USA Dakar Team Rally Manager, was then selected to fill Casey’s riding position on the punched-out 700cc factory bike.
“My career has come full circle now,” Harden told Powersports Business. “When I first came to KTM I had just come off two years living in Europe racing rallies professionally. I had always wanted to do the Dakar, but I guess I just couldn’t pick the time best for me.
“I wish the opportunity had come along a few years ago, but what the hell, Carpe Diem!”
“Scot was the only logical choice,” said KTM Racing Director Kurt Nicoll. “Besides being one of the best off road riders ever to come out of the U.S., he has been integrally involved with all the team testing as well as competing with the team in the recent Baja 1000. His previous Rally experience and proven track record make him the best candidate for the job.”
Well-known off-road riders Paul Krause and Larry Roeseler completed the three-rider team, and former ISDE medallist and adventure rider Joe Barker signed on to assist with management. The entire team departed Dec. 27 and Jan. 20.
KTM took the top three motorcycle positions at the 2003 Dakar, with Richard Sainct (FRA), Cyril Després (FRA), and Fabrizio Meoni (ITA), all riding the KTM 950, finishing within 40 minutes of each other.
The 26th Telefonica-Dakar Rally began Jan. 1 with vehicle departure from the Grand Hall d’Auvergne in central France. Competitors then traveled south through Spain, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal for a Jan. 18 finish on the banks of the Rose Lake.
Copyright 2004 Powersports Business