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HUBERT AURIOL

FAREWELL TO HUBERT AURIOL

Hubert Auriol, three-time Dakar Rally winner, former Dakar Rally race director, has died from Covid-related complications aged 68
images courtesy of BMW Motorrad

Sad news arrived this morning with the announcement that Hubert Auriol died on Sunday from cardiovascular complications related to Covid-19.

Auriol’s life was very much defined by the Dakar Rally. He competed in the very first Dakar in 1979 placing 12th overall (7th motorcycle), and over nine participations in the motorcycle division (1979-87) he won twice, in 1981 and 1983, both times on BMW GS twins entered by the French importer. His last motorcycle Dakar has been remembered for being a now legendary duel with Cyril Neveu, which we’ve perviously documented in Chris Evans’ excellent story (here).

Auriol then moved into the car category and would drive seven more Dakars. In 1992 he won the category in a Citroen ZX rally car, to become the first competitor to win in both categories.

On retirement as a competitor Auriol took over as the rally’s race director (from 1995 to 2004). In 2008, after the Dakar Rally was transplanted to South America, Auriol created the highly successful Africa Eco Rally which follows in the tracks of the original Dakar rallies.

Sadly Auriol’s death follows that of his (ex-) wife Caroline, who died as a result of a cycling accident in December. They are survived by their three children. 

1984: Auriol celebrates with Gaston Rahier their 1-2 in the Dakar
HUBERT AURIOL
In 2019 BMW France honoured 40 years of the Dakar Rally with a limited edition R nineT with colours and graphics based on Auriol's 1983 rally winning machine (that bike ran with a gold anodized front rim, plain alloy rear)
HUBERT AURIOL
Hubert Auriol in 2019
HUBERT AURIOL
German magazine advert celebrating Auriol's 1981 Dakar victor
HUBERT AURIOL
Hubert Auriol 1952-2021

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