Dakar rally legend Hubert Auriol dies aged 68

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CREDIT: “File:Monsieur Hubert AURIOL dit l’Africain.JPG” by Mikaducati is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

DAKAR Rally legend Hubert Auriol sadly died on Sunday January 10 at the age of 68 “following a cardiovascular accident following a long fight against illness”, according to his family.

The world of motor racing is in mourning after hearing the news of the death of Hubert Auriol, legendary car and motorcycle driver and former director of the Paris-Dakar rally.

Nicknamed “the African”, not only because he was born in 1952 in Ethiopia but also because of his success on the tracks of the famous rally-raid, he was the first to win the race both on a motorcycle (1981 and 1983) than by car (1992).

In 1995, he became the new boss of the Dakar Rally, a position he held until 2004. It was under his direction that the rally-raid set off for the first time outside France, from Spain (Granada in 1995, 1996 and 1999) and even from Dakar (1997 and 2000).

His face will be even more familiar to French audiences after he became the first presenter of the reality show “Koh-Lanta” on TF 1 in 2001 before Denis Brogniart succeeded him.

Hubert Auriol also holds the record for being one of the fastest people, along with Henri Pescarolo, Patrick Fourtick and Arthur Powell, to circumnavigate the world in a propeller plane in 1987 – shortly after his horrific motorcycle accident, where he broke both ankles – in a flight that lasted just over 88 hours.


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