Dakar

Guy Dreumont, 1936–2024

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Credit: Guy Dreumont

Guy Dreumont, who helped aid injured riders and drivers during the Dakar Rally’s infancy, died on 31 May at the age of 88.

An anesthetist with the Greater Paris University Hospitals system in the 1970s, Dreumont wanted to get involved in racing after noticing a lack of medical support for injured competitors during races he watched on televison. In 1977, he attended the Rallye Côte d’Ivoire–Cote d’Azur rally raid, flying a chartered plane to rescue downed competitors. He founded Assistance Médicale Sports Auto-Moto (AMSAM) upon returning from the event to provide emergency services, including a team of anesthetists and anesthesiologists. Among AMSAM’s clients are races such as the Enduropale de Touquet, Formula One, boat racing, and even non-motorsport like the Tour de France.

In 1979, AMSAM brought a fleet of six vehicles to the inaugural Paris–Dakar Rally to provide assistance. Dreumont and Serge Rafal shared a Peugeot 504 Break, one of four two-wheel-drive 504s used by the team, while they also had a Toyota BJ40 and a Renault 12 Break. Their 504 was nicknamed the “flying ambulance” by future three-time Dakar winner René Metge, who occasionally piloted it on request of race creator Thierry Sabine. All vehicles regardless of their goal are classified in the rankings, meaning medical and support cars are listed in the final results alongside competitors, with Dreumont officially being listed as a retirement.

Dreumont continued his role as AMSAM’s leader at the 1980 and 1981 Dakars in a Citroën Méhari and Lada Niva. While he stopped afterwards, he and his wife Evy remained in Africa and set up a business for tourists visiting Morocco in 1988, which they ran for two decades.

He is survived by Evy and their children Eric, Sophie, Emmanuel, and Sarah.

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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