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Baja Aragon 2023: Isidre Esteve’s Dakar 2024 project is launched in Aragon

Baja Aragon 2023: Isidre Esteve’s Dakar 2024 project is launched in Aragon

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  •  For the Repsol Toyota Rally Team, the turolense test is the first test in the face of the big January rally.
  • The Catalan driver faces his 21st participation in the Spanish classic of the rally raid, which in this edition will gather the main favorites of the Dakar.
  • “Baja is a fantastic race. Two years ago, I celebrated the 30th anniversary of my motorcycle debut in this race, and it is always a great joy for me to race again in Aragon.”
  • “At the sports level, the goal is to be competitive and seek the limits to reach the maximum of our possibilities.”

The road to the Dakar 2024 begins in Aragon for Isidre Esteve and Txema Villalobos. From 21 to 22 July, the traditional Spanish meeting will gather in Teruel some of the best teams and drivers in the world, and among them will be the members of the Repsol Toyota Rally Team.
In his 21st participation in the Aragonese test, pointed for the FIA World Cup of Cross Country Bajas, to which he returns after a year of absence, Esteve will be put again at the wheel of the Toyota Hilux T1+ that premiered in 2023 with the support of Repsol, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Spain, MGS Seguros and KH-7. As then, the goal is to show that there are no barriers to competing with the elite of this sport. In fact, in the last edition of the Dakar, the ilerdense and his co-pilot had the reach to finish among the top 20, but a three-day counter-time for the final gave rise to their options and finally finished in 24th position in their category (T1) and 34th absolute.
For this reason, the entire team has been working for the last few months to get the car ready for the challenge. “We have focused especially on adapting the controls, because for me it’s the most complicated part of the car. Every time we change the unit, we have to start almost from zero. We did a good job last year, but we need to keep improving, because everyone is improving. There is an incredible level,” explains Isidre Esteve.
As in the Dakar Rally, the team’s Toyota Hilux T1+ will again use Repsol’s lubricants and biofuel, produced at 75% from renewable materials, a formula that demonstrated its success from the first kilometer timed in all competitions of the previous campaign.
The competitive premiere in 2024 takes place in a Baja España Aragón that, in its 39th edition, can boast of a Dakar-worthy inscription, as Isidre points out: “Of all the times I have competed here, I do not remember any with so much inscription and of this level. All the teams that will fight for victory and the top 10 in the Dakar, except for some exceptions, are here, which allows us to start testing by measuring ourselves with the best, which is always positive. And all this running at home, which is fantastic.”
“This race is the first of the season for us and represents a good test to try things out and keep improving. And why? Because there is high temperature and a lot of competitiveness. It is true that the T1+ are more thought out for races in more broken and open terrain. Now, as we discovered at the Andalusia Rally in 2022, these scenarios set us challenges that we are not used to, so we always learn things. And, in this sense, all sum to get to January as best prepared as possible. At the sports level, the goal is to be competitive and seek the limits to reach the maximum of our possibilities,” adds the Repsol Toyota Rally Team driver.
The connection between Isidre Esteve and Baja España Aragón transcends mere statistics. Oliana remains the driver with the most victories in motorcycle (6, achieved between 1998 and 2006), and this year 2023 faces his 21st participation, ninth on four wheels: “Baja Aragón is a fantastic race. Two years ago, I celebrated the 30th anniversary of my motorcycle debut in this race, and it is always a great joy for me to race again in Aragon.”
The Aragon Basse Spain will start this Friday, July 21, in Teruel with a 5 km prologue. Its classification will determine the order of departure of the first cronometer, 180 km, scheduled for that same day. On Saturday, it will concentrate the large thickness of the tour, with two specials of 156 and 171 km that will complete the total scheduled 512 km, to which there will be another 363km of liasons.

Automatic translation from the original Spanish version provided by:
Source: Repsol Toyota Rally Team

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