In this world there are some who are never satisfied with just standing still. They live with passion, a passion for adventure. Once they’ve decided on where they’re going on the road of life, nothing stops them from moving forward. Wind or rain, sand or snow, no amount of hardship can break their will.
Han Wei is one of those people. Without fear of the sand, the heat, or the sharp rocks in the Gobi, Wei became known as the “King of Sand” and Asia’s “Off-road King,” picking up numerous accolades for his exploits in racing in China’s western desert.
Wei’s entry into the off-road rally racing is much like Geely’s entry into the auto industry. Starting as just a boy with a dream about cars, he built his own rally machines out of his garage in Taizhou, Zhejiang. Coincidently, Wei’s garage in Taizhou is in the same city as where Geely was founded. With his self-modified rally vehicles, Wei made a name for himself winning race after race, beating one challenge after another. A perfect representative of the Geely “never give up, always challenge yourself” ethos, rising rally racing star, and fellow hometown hero, Han Wei joined Geely Motorsports roster in 2016 and has since raced his specially built buggy accompanied by Geely’s X7 Sport SUVs in deserts across the world.
Right off the bat after joining Geely, Han Wei’s team became a two-time champion of the grueling Taklimakan Desert Rally and took third place in the Silk Road Rally which ran through treacherous environments from Moscow to Xi’an. Mid way through 2018, Wei showed his legendary aptitude for desert racing by becoming a three-time champion of the Taklimakan Desert Rally.
For off-road rally racers, each event is a trial, each event is a lesson that leads to the ultimate challenge, Dakar. After his last championship win, Han Wei said “The dream of every off-road racer is Dakar. In 2019, I will chase that dream, I will go to Dakar in my best condition with the best equipment”
In preparation for the ultimate off-road rally challenge, Han Wei took part in the Rallye Du Maroq in October 2018, a four thousand kilometer race that takes contestants through the extremes of North African deserts. In the endless Sahara, it looks seemingly calm but in reality is full of hidden dangers. Soft and collapsible dunes, sharp hidden rocks, complicated road conditions, and unpredictable climate challenge each driver’s strength and endurance. However to the “King of Sand” no amount of hardship can break his will. Han and his team showcased their joint grit in the face of danger and came first in the T1.3 category.
Now for his next feat: The 2019 Dakar Rally
From Sunday 6th January to 17th January 2019, Han Wei will spend two weeks chewing sand on the legendary Dakar Rally course snaking through South America. In total, 334 vehicles will be taking part in the race which starts and ends in the Peruvian capital. The disappointments are sometimes cruel at Dakar, it’s not uncommon to witness premature retirements after just a few hundred kilometres of action. However Wei and his team are well prepared with new specially designed methanol powered off-road rally machine built with cutting-edge Geely methanol technology as well as the rugged and time-tested Geely X7 Sport SUVs.