Rafal Sonik is one of the best known rally car riders and quad bike riders to have come out of Poland. Truly a man on a mission!
He’s also one of the oldest competitors to have entered the Dakar Rally, and one that he’s done out of passion and love for the ATV sport.
Read on as we detail more about Rafal’s journey.
In his early life, Rafal didn’t exactly grow up riding motocross unlike most other skilled professionals. Instead, he was a professional skier given that he lived in a snow-ridden country.
It was only later in life that he really opened himself to competitive racing. Prior to this, he had been pretty competitive in the world of business having owned a sports store as a teenager and a McDonalds restaurant. Following this, he had built a company dedicated towards constructing and managing large shopipng centre projects.
But that’s not all! He has interests in property development, the IT sector and book selling. Clearly a man that’s on a mission and we can see such pursuits lend themselves well to competing professionally.
Competiting at the Dakar Raly
Rafal is the first Polish competitor to have stood on the Dakar Rally podium at all, having come 3rd in 2009, and the first one to repeat this success with another 3rd place in 2013.
Of course…this was the lead up to the highlight of his career. Rafal Sonik was the winner of the Dakar Rally in 2015. Clearly some of the talent learned from building big businesses translated well to the world of twisting the throttle hard and working out the rest later.
Polish Association of All-Terrain Vehicles
Given the limited riding areas of ATV vehicles in Poland, Sonik addressed this by starting this enterprise to protect the interests of riders in the country. He’s the founder, funder and former president of this non-for-profit organization which aims to promote the sport and open up more areas in which to ride.
That isn’t all. He’s also the President of the Clean Poland Association. Each year they organize a mountain-cleaning operation designed to remove rubbish from key areas of significance. That’s quite a philanthropic effort right there!
Clearly it’s passion + persistence + enthusiasm which has contributed to his success, paired with remaining committed to crossing the finish line. We’re looking to seeing what the future holds and his developments for this sport, both nationally and internationally.