FIM's Continental Union
for Motorcycling in Africa



Posted on November 26, 2013 at 11:00 AM



David Reeve from Zambia has joined Freedom Rally Racing.  He has competed in almost all enduro and off-road rallies of southern Africa. The farmer from Mazabuka who conquered 16 Zambian off-road titles knew his time had come to race the Dakar. 2013 was his first year attempting to complete the race, having crashed out at the 11th stage of the competition whilst in 29th position. He is back for another round with the support of Freedom Rally!  

“The Dakar is a bit of a ‘Grande Finale’ for me. I’ve witnessed all types of races including World championships. It was ‘now or never’… Ingo Waldschmidt opened my eyes and I’ve been planning the Dakar for the last year and a half. As a Zambian rider I hope to open the eyes of the people here. Being the first Zambian to compete and finish would really mean something. Unfortunately the government are only concerned by football. I know I can handle the long days and the physical efforts. Navigating in the dunes is my main concern. It’s going to be tough to cope with riding, reading the road-book and navigating. After spending so much money and time, it would be terrible missing a way-point. There are a lot of new things I have to learn. I have to re-program my brain to finish and not think about winning.”


Support Team:  Freedom Rally Racing

Rider’s Website:  Dave Zambia


In addition to Freedom Rally riders and mechanical support crew, a handful of other motorsport enthusiasts accompany us on our Dakar adventure and play a role in the success of the team.  Some riders bring along their spouse or personal support crew.  We also offer rally fans an opportunity to ride along with our team as part of our  “spectator package”.  Most get involved in the hopes of giving moral support or fulfilling a dream of their own by tagging along with a race team.  Yet they serve a much more important role. The amount of work that goes into getting riders to the finish line goes above and beyond riding and the mechanical duties…and takes an army to accomplish it.

Riders need to focus on riding, going over the road book, eating, showering and getting enough rest to keep up their endurance to safely stand up to the rigors the Dakar course throws at them. Mechanics have a similar schedule. They work from the afternoon, getting the bikes in top shape, and work throughout the night, until bikes and riders are at the start line each morning.  During the day, they get to the next bivouac, shower, eat and get in a few winks of sleep.

Don’t forget the daily chores of washing clothes, getting food, driving 1/2 a day to a full day to each bivouac, setting up and tearing down the mechanics tents, tables, tools, getting paperwork completed, setting up sleeping tents and sponsor banners. Let’s not forget supplying mechanics with an endless amount of caffeine to work throughout the night.  All the tasks the riders and mechanics don’t have time to do unless they give up the what little sleep they attempt to squeeze in, showers or eating.  This is where those that come “along for the ride,” jump in and take on an active role!

Even though unofficial Freedom Rally team members, they play an integral part and help take a little stress off the riders and mechanics so they can do what they are there for – complete the Dakar Rally!  Let’s meet a few of them:





Charles (CB2) Coxe

David Reeve’s Support

A Contractor and Sugar Farmer in Mazabuka, Zambia by occupation.  Charles is David Reeve’s main sponsor for the Dakar and part of his Management team. Having known David since they were young kids, he has followed his incredible motorcycling career for years and been on some incredible journeys together; including to the World Motocross Championships event in Sun City, South Africa. Sadly Charles missed last year’s Dakar, which David fell out of, but couldn’t miss this one. So here he is, a very proud member of the David Reeve Dakar 2014 Unfinished Business Zambia team. He will be assisting David and the team wherever he can and provide any support required in order to get their man safely to the finish. Charles believes, with this team, they have the perfect opportunity of getting David the respectable finish that he wants; and we know he is capable of; in the hardest Enduro race on the Planet.


Charles Bender

David Reeve Support

Charles was born in Zambia, lived there all his life, married to a very “understanding” wife, Elise for 20 years.  He started farming with his father till he fired him for being drunk and disorderly in 1980; best thing he ever did for him. He went out and built myself a career in trucks, ending up with shares  in and running a fleet of 160 x 30 wheelers; running between Zambia, South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia and DRC. After 28 years, Charles managed to sell majority of his shares in the company and took an early retirement.

Charles has known David and his family for many years and just before retirement, supported him and other Zambian Riders to International Events. With David interested in the Dakar, he teamed up with Gillian Dykes, without whom they would not have got to Dakar 2013.  With her tireless efforts of finding information, booking accommodations and the 2000 odd other things which need to be done,  they managed to live their dreams of going to the Dakar with David. Gillian and Charles supported their Zambian friend and rider, Ingo Waldschmidt, (with the Orange Service Team from Holland) in the Dakar 2013 (Ingo’s 3rd), so they still got to the finish, after David broke his leg in the 11th stage. So… this isUnfinished Business 2014 for David and his team. Charles is looking forward to this Dakar with a new Service Team, an older and wiser David, and friend CB2 who missed last year.


Gillian Dykes

David Reeve Support

I live and breathe motorsport, providing it is in the dirt, I am not a fan of circuit racing at all. Met my husband Chris through rallying and mx. I was a navigator, so ended up navigating for him. He said I married him for his rally car……. Once our son was born, Chris continued riding off road bikes, and I navigated for a couple of guys but our son Ian took up most of the money by also racing from age 5. I had a bucket list about 15 years ago, 1) Do the Kenyan Safari rally 2) Do the Toyota 1000 Desert race  and 3) Do the Dakar…… as I got older I realized that actually competing was not going to be viable, but I did navigate in the Toyota 1000 km desert race. So getting involved in Dakar was the only way I was going to get there.

Basically got involved with the local club here, and started doing my Clerk of Course licences, and then it slowly evolved from there, so I have been lucky to be an official in Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa and allowed to assist at the Qatar rally. Charles Bender and I both are involved in FIM Africa on the off road/enduro/trials/cross country rally raid commission. So we both hold a few licences between us!! The Toyota 1000 desert has been “my baby” for over 10 years, and I help the organizers and promoters with it in various ways.

Most importantly I have a husband and son who absolutely fully support me in what I do and encourage me to aim higher. Not many husbands would allow their wives to go trotting off around the world in a mainly male dominated sport. (yes he probably loves the peace and quiet when I am away!!)

In 2006 David and I discussed doing Dakar and I made him promise to take me with if I helped out where possible. So logistics, travel agent, secretary, psychologist, nurse, clothes washer, suitcase sorter, rally jacket organizer, fetch and carry, newsletters, facebook and PR, advise his family, etc etc is my list of duties!!! And I love it!! It’s the people who make it special – even world wide, we are a close knit community and always we have received kindness and support from our fellow off roaders!




Categories: FMN News Zambia

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