Dakar 2024: Celebrating its 25th anniversary, X Rally sets off for the Dakar challenge as part of a true "dream team"

Dakar 2024: Celebrating its 25th anniversary, X Rally sets off for the Dakar challenge as part of a true "dream team"

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The world's biggest rally starts on Friday (5) and will cover almost 8,000 kilometers. Brazilian duos led by the Baumgart brothers will set off in a squad with Prodrive cars.

The 46th edition of the Dakar Rally starts next Friday (5) and it's already off to a good start for four Brazilians who are lining up in a veritable dream squad in the car category. Brothers Cristian and Marcos Baumgart, who have five Sertões titles to their name, will be competing in the race aboard the British-prepared Prodrive Hunter T1+, with which the Brazilians have already competed in 2023.
The British company is taking seven Hunter models to Saudi Arabia, in addition to the Brazilian duos Cristian Baumgart/Beco Andreotti and Marcos Baumgart/Kleber Cincea, two of the biggest names in world rallying: Sebástien Loeb, nine-time world champion and runner-up in the last two editions of the Dakar, and Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah, five-time Dakar champion and the last champion of the event.

X Rally completes 25 years of existence in 2024, and participation in the Dakar reinforces a status of professionalism and innovation that has been implemented in Brazilian rallying since 1999 and has collected titles and victories. The Dakar is another step for the team. "We started the year already realizing some dreams as a team, precisely in the year that X Rally celebrates its 25th anniversary," says Beco Andreotti, Cristian's navigator for over 20 years and CEO of the Brazilian team. "Being in the Dakar is the realization of another dream. This year we have the chance to fight for good results, especially with the structure we have at X Rally in partnership with Prodrive. To be able to take part in the Dakar again, especially with the car we're driving, is spectacular," he said.

Cristian and Beco are taking part in the Dakar for the second time. They competed in the race in 2019, in the last edition held in South America. That year, the competition was held exclusively in Peruvian territory, and the X Rally duos competed in the UTVs. Cristian and Beco finished ninth overall in the class and also won a special stage. "It's the biggest and most challenging rally in the world. The level of demand, difficulty, and competitiveness is such that just completing the Dakar is quite an achievement. It's going to be different now with the cars, but we're already more used to the Hunter, and we're going to work hard to get good results," said Cristian, a four-time Sertões champion. The duo will be driving car number 245.

Marcos Baumgart and Kleber Cincea are going for their third Dakar. After their first experience in cars in 2013, the 2020 Sertões champions and five-time Brazilian cross-country rally champions stood out among the UTVs in the 2019 edition in Peru, finishing in sixth place. Now, in the Prodrive Hunter number 242, the pair are looking to complete the race first.

baumgart 3 1 w 2

"I'm very happy to be going to the Dakar for the third time. It's a childhood dream. The car we have this year, compared to the one we had before—and we ran our last Dakar in a UTV - is going to make a big difference. We're going to try to have a good race with a good team. Finishing the Dakar is something incredible. I want to finish the race well so I can go down in history," said Marcos, who in 2023 won the Jalapão Rally with Hunter and was Sertões champion in the T1+ class, as well as having competed in the Sonora, Mexico, and Morocco rallies.

Kleber Cincea highlights the size of the challenge that the race, which starts on Friday, represents. "The Dakar is the biggest race in the world. Just being here and living this experience on a huge entry list is sensational. It's a long and challenging race. Just finishing makes you a winner. It's a great privilege to be in this race, doing what we love, in a competition of this level," he concluded.

The 2024 race will cover almost 8,000 kilometers, with 4,700 against the clock. There will be 12 stages, plus Friday's prologue. The Dakar starts in Al' Ula and finishes in Yanbu. One of the novelties of this edition is the 48-hour stage in the desert region called "The Empty Quarter", in the Rub'Al Khali desert, which covers 650,000 km2 and is the largest continuous area covered in sand in the world.

On this particular stage, competitors will have until 4 p.m. local time on the 11th (sixth stage) to reach one of the eight campsites distributed throughout the region to spend the night. Drivers and navigators will have two hours to carry out repairs and maintenance on their vehicles; they will receive supplies for the night and will be released at seven in the morning on the 12th to complete the stage, having covered a total of 532 timed kilometers out of a total of 781.

Cristian and Marcos Baumgart, Kleber Cincea, and Beco Andreotti are part of one of the largest delegations Brazil has ever had in the history of the Dakar in a single edition. Including the X Rally Team, there will be 17 Brazilian competitors in cars, quads and UTVs.

The X Rally Team is sponsored by Vedacit, Motul, BF Goodrich, Rodobens, Center Norte, Rock and Opaoma.

Automatic translation of the original Brazilian Portuguese version
Source: Lucas Miranda/X Rally

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