Multiple Dakar winner and the first racer to win the gruelling event on both two and four wheels, Hubert Auriol, passed away on January 10th after a long battle with heart disease.
The charismatic Frenchman (although he was actually born in Ethiopia) was a rightful legend of the Dakar, first tasting victory in 1981 on BMW’s R80G/S before following it up in 1983 to give BMW their second of four victories.
After an incident in the penultimate day of the 1987 Rally in which he broke both his ankles, Auriol switched to four wheels eventually taking his third and final Dakar victory with Citroen in 1992.
Despite retiring from racing after a runner-up finish in 1994, Auriol stayed with the Dakar as race director from 1995 through to the 2004 edition and remained a tireless champion of the motorcycle racers within the organisation and in the media.
With the Dakar Rally moving to South America, in 2008 Auriol helped found the Africa Eco Race which aims to be the spiritual successor to the original Paris-Dakar.
Hubert Auriol is survived by his wife and three daughters.