Dakar 2024: Brazil stands out at Dakar 2024

Dakar 2024: Brazil stands out at Dakar 2024

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With the largest delegation in history, 17 entries, the country also has the best prospect of results since its debut in 1988

The 46th edition of the Dakar Rally 2024 is just a few days away, starting next Friday (05) with a race to determine starting positions, and ending a fortnight later, on January 19. Surrounded by myths, heroism and tragedies, the Dakar remains in the popular imagination as the great test of drivers and machines willing to face a routine of high risks and unpredictability. It is also one of the few world competitions that is missing from Brazil's pantheon of victories in this sport.
The country made its Dakar debut in 1988, when Klever Kolberg and André Azevedo decided to take part in the race, even without any resources, such as spare tires for their Yamaha motorcycles. Brazil has won titles in intermediate categories of the race, which is no small feat, but it has never won the overall classification in the main car category. The first title came with Kolberg, champion of the Motorcycle Marathon category in 1993. The country came close to the overall title for the first time in 2023, with Lucas Moraes, who surprised the off-road world by reaching the podium on his debut. In 2024, however, the Brazilian team arrives with the best prospects in the history of its participation in the Dakar - in an edition that will bring together almost 800 competitors from 72 nationalities.
Held since 2020 in Saudi Arabia, the Dakar will cross inhospitable deserts and swamps. But the "stars" will once again be the dunes of the "Empty Quarter", real mountains up to 300 meters high that dominate large stretches of this desert, whose suggestive name can be translated as "Abandoned Territory". The total distance of the race is 7,891 km, with 4,727 km of "specials" - timed stretches that are valid for defining the result of the competition. In all, there will be 12 special stages. One of them, called the "marathon", will last 48 hours, with competitors having two hours to repair their vehicles.
With 778 entries, Dakar 2024 will be divided into eight main categories: Motorcycles, Quadricycles, Cars, Challenger (prototype UTVs, type T3), SSV (prepared production UTVs, type T4), Trucks, M1000 (prototypes) and Classics (vintage vehicles that have already competed in the race). The biggest rally in the world takes place under the regulations of the W2RC, the World Rally Raid Championship, which is organized by the FIA and whose races are similar to the Brazilian Rally dos Sertões.

A "Brazilian Selection* of the off-road - Among the main news is the rise of Lucas Moraes to the A-team of the reigning champions, Toyota Gazoo Racing, definitely placing himself among the favorites for the top positions. Moraes, whose car is also sponsored by SpeedMax, will compete in the fastest category of the Dakar, T1+, in which he will be joined by the experienced Brazilian duos Marcos Baumgart/Kléber Cincea and Cristian Baumgart/Beco Andreotti, who are returning to the Dakar. Also winners of the Sertões, which is a benchmark in the sport, this time they will be on board the competitive Prodrive Hunter model, winner of nine of the 14 Dakar 2023 specials.
Also noteworthy is the debut of South American rally raid champion and two-time Sertões champion Rodrigo Varela, son of three-time world champion and Dakar champion in the UTV category (2018), Reinaldo Varela. Competing in the factory-prepared UTV category (T4), Rodrigo will be navigated by Ênio Bozzano, who also holds a Sertões title and is investing in an international career.
The current FIA Rally Raid World Cup champion, Cristiano Batista, is one of the forces in the T4 category, in partnership with Spanish navigator Fausto Mota. Champions of the 2023 Sertões Rally in the Cars category, Marcelo Gastaldi and Cadu Sachs return to the Dakar to compete in the UTVs made specifically for racing (prototypes) in the T3 category.
The navigator from Santa Catarina, Gustavo Gugelmin, will repeat his successful partnership with the American driver Austin Jones, with whom he won the T4 (2022) and T3 (2023) Dakar titles. One name that deserves attention is that of Marcelo Medeiros, very competitive in the Dakar 2023 in the Quadricycle category and tipped as one of the favorites for 2024. Completing the list of strong names, navigator Lourival Roldan (2017 Dakar champion in the UTV category) will have Paraguayan driver Oscar Peralta as his partner.


Lucas Moraes (Brasil) / Armand Monleon (Espanha), GR Hilux DKR T1+
Marcos Baumgart (Brasil) / Kléber Cincea (Brasil), Prodrive Hunter T1+
Cristian Baumgart (Brasil) / Beco Andreotti (Brasil), Prodrive Hunter T1+

Marcelo Medeiros (Brasil), Yamaha YFM 700 Raptor

Austin Jones (EUA) / Gustavo Gugelmin (Brasil), Can-Am Maverick XRS
Marcelo Gastaldi (Brasil) / Carlos Sachs (Brasil), UTV MCE-5
Gunter Hinkelmann (Brasil) / Fabrício Bianchini (Brasil), UTV MCE-5
Oscar Peralta (Paraguai) / Lourival Roldan (Brasil), Can-Am Maverick T3

Rodrigo Varela (Brasil) / Enio Bozzano (Brasil), Can-Am Maverick XRS
Jorge Wagenfuhr (Brasil) / Humberto Ribeiro (Brasil), Polaris RZR PRO R
Cristiano Batista (Brasil) / Fausto Mota (Espanha), Can-Am Maverick XRS


Automatic translation of the original Brazilian Portuguese version
Source BestPR

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