South Racing has been at the forefront of the progression of FIA cross-country rallying for several years and has been one of the driving forces behind the explosive growth of the FIA lightweight prototype T3 and T4 SSV categories.
The operation that runs out of Rüsselsheim-am-Main in Germany and has staff and customers across all corners of the world has now launched Can-Am NEXT, an innovative programme to cultivate and nurture the next generation of off-road talent.
Can-Am NEXT has been designed to target youth and to cultivate future generations of rally drivers, navigators, mechanics, aspiring engineers, logistical experts, communications specialist and numerous other roles within the team, all of which must come together to ensure the ongoing success of the race programmes across several international championships.
The programme allows youngsters between the ages of 18 and 23 to launch their career in the T4 category and offers the incentive to progress to the T3 class and onwards into T1+ in the future.
The plan is to ensure that, by the 2025 Dakar Rally, a five-car Can-Am Factory South Racing T4 team well be crewed by Can-Am NEXT teams from the four main global motor sporting regions – EMEA, LATAM, NA and APAC – and mentored by Dakar champions.
The announcement comes on a day where South Racing drivers have achieved fabulous success in the 2023 Dakar Rally. American Austin Jones has become the youngest driver to win back-to-back Dakar rallies, after he followed up last year’s success in the T4 SSV category with a superb win in T3 at his first attempt this year in a South Racing-built Can-Am as a member of the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team USA presented by BF Goodrich.
While Jones was writing his little piece of Dakar history, 18-year-old Dakar rookie Eryk Goczal was celebrating success in this year’s T4 class at the wheel of a South Racing-run Can-Am entered under the Energylandia Rally Team banner. Not content with alco becoming the youngest ever stage winner at the Dakar, the young Pole went to claim four stage wins and snatched victory on the final day.
“As our global operations continue to grow, it’s essential that we continue to find young talented professionals to make up our team to keep the drivers and co-drivers competing at the top level,” said Scott Abraham, managing director of South Racing. "Together with our commercial partners, South Racing is starting development programmes and leveraging existing apprentice programmes and social development projects to reach this goal. With 28 nationalities represented at Dakar 2023, the diverse South Racing team is the ideal environment to develop young professionals with a passion for adventure.”
The South Racing Can-Am Team currently receives valuable support for its race programme from Method Wheels, Tensor Tires, Motul, Bell, Jjuan Brake Systems, Lazer and OMP.
Source South Racing