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The race goes on for FIA-FIM World Rally-Raid Championships

The Dakar, the opening round of the W2RC, has come to an end after 12 stages in which the drivers, riders and crews fought to get their hands on the famous Bedouin trophy, as well as earning the first points towards a ranking that will continue to take shape in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in March, followed by the Kazakhstan Rally in April, the Andalucía Rally in June and, finally, the Rallye du Maroc in October.
Nasser Al-Attiyah leads the car ranking. Together with the points gained by his Overdrive teammate Yazeed Al-Rajhi, his performance propelled Toyota Gazoo Racing to the summit of the provisional constructor standings. In the T3 category, "Chaleco" López could not have asked for a more auspicious start to his adventure in a lightweight prototype. In the T4 category, Austin Jones leads after the first round. In the T5 category, Martin Macík and his yellow truck left the competition fighting for scraps. In the motorbike category, Sunderland sits at the top of the rider ranking, but Honda dominates the constructor classification for now.
It comes as no surprise to see the overall winners top the standings, but their advantage is nowhere near insurmountable, setting the stage for a series packed with varied landscapes and dramatic turnarounds throughout the 2022 season.
Behind the main contenders, the design of the Championship makes sure that the drivers and riders who race for teams that contribute to the depth and diversity of the international field are also in the mix: the Century buggies, with Serradori, have already stepped into the fray, as have the Sherco and Hero motorbikes, and they are all ready to pounce on every opportunity to make life difficult for the heavy hitters.

CARS: LOEB AND AL-ATTIYAH NECK AND NECK

10 different drivers have been awarded points after the various stages of the Dakar. 16 finishers have also earned points for their positions in the final standings of the first round of the championship. Five top Dakar competitors have landed a monster haul. Al-Attiyah and Loeb are virtually tied. Nasser got a substantial boost from the 50 points that come with his victory in Jeddah, but Sébastien made up most of the difference with several places of honour in stages. Toyota Gazoo Racing's Qatari driver has 85 points, one more than BRX's Frenchman. Yazeed Al-Rajhi and his Toyota Overdrive (51 points) lie ahead of Jakub Przygoński and his Mini X-raid (36 pts), with Mathieu Serradori and his Century SRT in fifth place (33 points).

Sebastián Halpern picked up almost no points during the race, but his solid position in the final standings of the Dakar earned him 15 points as the sixth best W2RC entrant, which puts him behind Álvarez and Ten Brinke in the provisional ranking, with 19 points, just ahead of "Nani" Roma. Vladimir Vasilyev is tenth, with 14 points, 10 of which come from his place in the overall. Proof, if any were needed, that consistent drivers who rank high in the final standings will be rewarded in the Championship even if they do not snap up points every day. The opposite also holds true: a driver like Loeb can make up for an off day by going on the attack and racking up points on the following days.

Six constructors have entered the W2RC in the car category. Toyota grabbed 80 points in the Dakar thanks to Al-Attiyah and Al-Rajhi placing their Hiluxes on the podium of the race. BRX and X-raid Mini JCW are already vying for second place with 45 points apiece. MD Rallye Sport lies fourth (25 points), the Overdrive OT3 fifth (16 points) and PH Sport sixth (14 points).

The W2RC regulations give co-drivers the attention that they deserve. A title will be awarded at the end of the season to make sure that everyone in the cockpit gets their dues. In this regard, it will come as no surprise that the navigators wrapped up the Dakar with the same number of points as the drivers at their side. However, crew changes during the season and co-drivers who take up "gigs" with other co-drivers will lead to divergences in the two classifications. Mathieu Baumel and Fabian Lurquin are deadlocked at the top of this ranking.

LIGHTWEIGHT PROTOTYPES (T3s): "CHALECO" TURNS THE TABLES AT THE FINISH

Seth Quintero bounced back from a heart-breaking mechanical to chalk up one stage win after another and limit the damage in the Championship, with 55 points gained over the course of the Dakar. However, he had to settle for just 8 points at the finish, a drop in the ocean compared to the 50 points that went to Dakar T3 winner "Chaleco"! The South Racing / Can-Am captain collected 50 points in one fell swoop to rocket up the ranking and finish the first round of the W2RC with 88 points on his account. Quintero's teammate in the Red Bull Off Road Junior Team, Cristina Gutiérrez, is second with 73 points. Quintero himself is third with 63.
Santiago Navarro lies fourth with 38 points, followed by Thomas Bell and Camelia Liparoti (Yamaha), both with 25. Another woman, Dania Akeel from Saudi Arabia, is seventh with 17 points, one more than Lionel Costes A total of fifteen drivers scored points.
Among the co-drivers, Juan Pablo Latrach Vinagre (88 points) leads the T3 competition ahead of François Cazalet (73 points) and Dennis Zenz (63 points).

T4s: CONSISTENCY PAYS DIVIDENDS TOO

Austin Jones did not pick up a single stage win in the SSV category this year. The South Racing / Can-Am factory driver mimicked the strategy put in place by "Chaleco" in the T3 race and chose substance over style. It proved to be the right decision, as he won the Dakar in the T4 category and now leads the World Championship thanks to the 50-point jackpot awarded to the top-ranked W2RC entrant in the race. The American boasts 83 points to Marek Goczał and Rokas Baciuška's 68.
Michał Goczał (57 points) is just outside the podium after the first round, followed by Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira (49 points), Aron Domżała (34 points) and Lucas del Río and Gael Queralt (both 10 points).
Among the navigators, Gustavo Gugelmin (83 points) has a certain margin over Łukasz Łaskawiec and Oriol Mena (both 68 points).

T5s: A CLASH OF TITANS

The Championship regulations are clear: drivers have to finish the round to receive the points gained during the stages. Only two T5 W2RC entrants were still in the race by the time the rally got to Jeddah. Martin Macík collected a mammoth 108 points, an amount worthy of his titan-like Big Shock Racing truck.
Kees Koolen is second with 86 points. It is all to play for, as the two juggernauts have become used to divvying up the biggest hauls on offer.
In the truck category, the Czech duo of Tomášek and Švanda have 108 points to De Graaff and Van Uden's 86.

MOTORBIKES

16 bikers signed up for the W2RC in the RallyGP category. Credit where credit is due: Sunderland leads the Championship with 38 points, ahead of Quintanilla with 30 and the reigning world champion, Walkner, with 24. Adrien Van Beveren, runner-up to Walkner in 2021 and fourth in the Dakar, picked up 20. The competition is still wide open after the first round of the 2022 season. Kevin Benavides is dead last, with a single point to his name, after his engine gave up the ghost in stage 10 of the Dakar.
Honda can find solace in the constructor ranking after letting the Dakar title slip away. It now tops the leader board after placing its four motorbikes in the top 10. The Japanese maker has accumulated 47 points, while GasGas got 38 exclusively from Sunderland's performance. KTM is nipping at their heels with 36, while Sherco is fourth with 14, one length ahead of Hero with 13 and Husqvarna with 9.
In the Rally2 competition, Mason Klein holds the pole position in the battle for the World Cup with 38 points to Camille Chapelière's 30. Bradley Cox spent many days in second place, but a crash sent him plummeting down the standings. Alfie's son is fifth with 17 points. Another Frenchman, Romain Dumontier, is third with 24 points, while Jan Brabec is fourth with 20.
In the fight for the Junior title, Mason Klein (38 points) will come up against Bradley Cox (30 points) and Konrad Dąbrowski (24 points). Jean-Loup Lepan (20 points), Mike Wiedemann (17 points) and Leonardo Tonelli (15 points) are also favourites, bringing the number of promising young riders up to six.
In the quad competition, Alexandre Giroud leads the World Cup ahead of Francisco Moreno, Kamil Wiśniewski, Zdeněk Tůma, Carlos Alejandro Verza, Marcelo Medeiros and Nicolás Robledo Serna.

 

Next up in the W2RC, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, scheduled for 5 to 10 March.

 

Source: ASO
Photo: ASO/Charly Lopez

FIA-FIM World Rally Raid Championships 2022: Hierarchy starting to take shape halfway through the Dakar

The World Championships are in full swing. The six stages held so far have begun to force a selection between the entrants and crews who signed up for the five rounds of the 2022 season (full list available on the W2RC website). Next up are the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in March, the Rally Kazakhstan in April, the Andalucía Rally in June and the Rallye du Maroc in October.
As expected, the Dakar leaders, starting with Nasser Al-Attiyah in the car category (T1), are on the right track to harvest a bumper crop of points at the end of the race (points scale available on the FIA website). Although several competitors are no longer in contention for the Dakar title, some continue to vigorously hunt points, chief among them Seth Quintero, who is racking up one stage win after another in the T3 category.
The first FIM World Championship Points will not be awarded until the end of the Dakar, but the first trends are beginning to emerge among the movers and shakers who will be ahead of the pack once this first round is over. Sam Sunderland, the leader at the halfway point, has laid down a tentative marker, while a handful of young Rally2 bikers are showing that they too have what it takes to fight for the title that is also at stake in their category. Young American Mason Klein is already setting the tone.

CARS: THE GAME IS ON BETWEEN AL-ATTIYAH AND LOEB

Seeing Toyota Gazoo Racing's Nasser Al-Attiyah perched at the top of the standings by a wide margin was the logical outcome of the events of the first week, but his lead in the W2RC is much smaller. The Qatari has 20 points, 2 more than Sébastien Loeb, while Overdrive Racing's Yazeed Al-Rajhi (14 points) has picked up enough places of honour to be considered a serious threat.

While their aim may not be to go head to head with the boss of the competition, several drivers racing for private teams will be seeking to play their cards right in certain episodes of the series. Mathieu Serradori and his Century buggy, for example, opened their account thanks to their stage 5 performance (third among the W2RC entrants). Chasing the same objective is Guerlain Chicherit (GCK), who scored a near-miss on the same day. X-raid Mini's Jakub Przygoński, MD Rallye Sport Optimus, Pierre Lachaume and Jean-Rémy Bergounhe could also pull it off.

Constructor standings, based on the points earned by the top two drivers in each team who have entered the W2RC, are calculated after each round. Toyota seems poised to take the lion's share, with BRX not too far behind, not least because "Orly" Terranova supplemented Sébastien Loeb's performance with a stage win and proved that he is an asset to the Hunters on the same level as "Nani" Roma.

LIGHTWEIGHT PROTOTYPES / T3: LOSER TAKES ALL

Out of the running for the overall title in Jeddah since his withdrawal in stage 2, Seth Quintero has turned to the hunt for W2RC points. The American is doing a superb job in his new quest, gobbling up all the specials held so far except the one that knocked him out of contention. He already has 25 points to his name. Meanwhile, "Chaleco", who made the transition to the same category in 2022 with Can-Am South Racing, is a mere 3 points behind. Cristina Gutiérrez stands on the provisional podium with 14 points, just ahead of his Red Bull Off Road Junior Team stablemate, Guillaume De Mevius, with 9.

Further back, seventeen entrants have earned points so far, including Philippe Pinchedez, who grabbed some thanks to his first podium finish. They will be stepping into the fray for the podium in Morocco. Prestigious teams such as PH Racing, X-raid Yamaha, FN Speed and Buggyra ZM Racing will only get stronger as the season progresses.

In the constructor standings, Overdrive is in the pole position thanks to its OT3s driven by Quintero, Gutiérrez, De Mevius and Mikkelsen, but the ambitious Can-Ams of South Racing, Pinch Racing, FN Speed and Sebastian Guyasamin, the PH-Sport Zephyrs and the X-raid Yamahas should not be counted out.

SSVs / T4: WHEN IT'S NOT ONE GOCZAŁ IT'S THE OTHER

If the W2RC had a family ranking, the Goczałs would almost have it in the bag by now. The Polish brothers racing for Cobant-Energylandia have already grabbed two Dakar stage wins each, along with the W2RC points that come with them… but pooling their scores is not an option! This benefits South Racing Can-Am's Rodrigo Luppi de Oliveira. While the Brazilian has only won a single stage, he has finished on the podium on two other occasions, good enough to move into the lead of the championship with 20 points.

Austin Jones has shown a similar level of consistency and is tied with Michał Goczał in second place with 18 points apiece. Marek is hot on their heels in fourth place, with 17 points, followed by Rokas Baciuška with 9 and, finally, Aron Domżała with 8. The other two pretenders to the crown, South Racing's Lucas del Río and FN Speed's Gaël Gueralt, will soon join this fratricidal war between Can-Ams.

 

TRUCKS / T5: MACÍK ON THE RIGHT TRACK

As a result of the amendments to the FIA regulations that came into force this year, trucks are now a fully-fledged category whose winner will be awarded a title at the end of the championship. Five pioneering crews have thrown their hat into the ring. Big Shock Racing, with Martin Macík at the helm, has thrown the kitchen sink at the competition with a total of three trucks. The Czech boss is leading by example. He has accumulated 28 points, while his Dutch brother in arms, Kees Koolen, is close behind with 22.

MOTORBIKES: WALKNER WELL PLACED FOR REPEAT VICTORY

The FIM regulations for the motorbikes diverge from their FIA counterparts when it comes to awarding points. Bikers do not get bonus points at the end of each stage. Why? To avoid incentivising them to chase places of honour at the expense of their race management, in line with the original ethos of the sport, which rewards endurance over raw speed in the motorbike category, making the race safer for the competitors who are exposed to the gravest danger in the event of a crash. Therefore, no points will be awarded until the finish of the first leg of the W2RC.

Attempting to predict the odds of success of the riders of the six constructors in the W2RC is a fool's errand, but the reigning world champion, KTM's Matthias Walkner, has been proving for a week that he is in a position to defend his crown. "Hiasi" is sitting in second place overall, sandwiched between the two official GasGas bikers. The Spanish maker stands to take the bulk of the points up for grabs for the constructor standings. Yet Honda's four riders still in the race, KTM's "dream team" of three former Dakar champions and Sherco's "Santo", ready to pounce on any opportunity, all have a real shot at scoring big for their teams. Hero also showed that it is a force to be reckoned with as Joaquim Rodrigues claimed the Indian outfit's maiden win. Xavier de Soultrait, riding a Husqvarna, and Martin Michek, on a KTM, are holding up well among the works riders and are worth keeping an eye on.

Rally 2 bikers, automatically included in the competition by the FIM to drum up interest in the sport, will also see their standings take shape once the Dakar is over. It is a way for them to catch the attention of the factories and media, as well as potential sponsors, which they need to raise the funds needed to climb up the ladder. Mason Klein is being touted as the big favourite to win in Rally 2. The 20-year-old American is comfortably in control, ahead of fellow rookie Bradley Cox. Camille Chapelière, top Frenchman and 22nd overall in his Dakar debut in 2021, is breathing down the neck of Alfie Cox's son. Two other Dakar newcomers, the experienced Paolo Lucci and Romain Dumontier, the former enduro racer with ten EnduroGP seasons under his belt (or should we say belt bag), are also keen to crash the party.

QUADS: GIROUD AND COPETTI IN PRIME POSITION

In the quad competition, Manuel Andújar, runner-up in the 2021 World Cup after winning every leg bar the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, which he did not enter, was hoping to win back his crown at the end of the season. Yet the Argentinian's withdrawal in stage 6 means that the first round of his World Cup campaign was a big flop. Giroud, Copetti and Maksimov, currently leading the Dakar, look set to divvy up the first points at the end of the first leg!

FIA-FIM World Championships: Planet Rally-Raids reaches its apogee  

  •  The 2022 season marks a turning point for rally-raids with the inception of World Championships consisting of the same five races for the FIA and FIM. After the show gets on the road with the start of the Dakar in Jeddah, the competition will head to Abu Dhabi in March, Kazakhstan in April, Andalusia in June and Morocco in October.
  • As soon as the news came out, the constructors with skin in the game jumped in to set the stage for this melodrama and a clash featuring the greatest champions. Expect to see a close-run and unpredictable competition in both the car and the motorbike categories.
  • A total of 53 crews representing 6 constructors have already signed up for the FIA World Championship, while 15 bikers riding for 6 constructors have thrown their hats into the ring for the FIM World Championship.

The stage is set for a mammoth battle. Most of the contenders on the start line of the 44th edition of the Dakar are taking up a challenge for the entire 2022 season in the hopes of claiming the world champion title at the end of the five rounds on the programme. In the car category, the four main teams will fight for the crown while some independent teams could manage to get some interesting results. The leading Dakar constructors are banking on their champions, starting with Nasser Al-Attiyah, who has won the competition five times in the "World Cup" format. Remarkably consistent throughout the season, the Qatari will face stiff competition from the likes of Sébastien Loeb, who has a shot at what would be his tenth FIA world championship after racking up nine consecutive WRC titles between 2004 and 2012. The concept of this serialised competition has also convinced his BRX teammate Joan "Nani" Roma to give it a go. Other rock-solid candidates such as Toyota's Yazeed Al-Rajhi and X-Raid's Jakub Przygoński have also picked up the gauntlet. Certain outsiders unused to shining throughout the season will now be in a position to take the fight to the favourites. This role is the perfect fit for drivers such as Mathieu Serradori and his SRT Racing buggies, as well as MD Rallye Sport's Jean-Rémy Bergounhe and Guerlain Chicherit, who is back behind the wheel and, perhaps, back in business.

A look at the start list for the motorbike category also promises full-blown battles packed with emotions. Basking in the glow of his 2021 Dakar victory, KTM's Kevin Benavides will be a man to watch, but his favourite status could be put in doubt as soon as January, not least by his teammate Matthias Walkner, the 2015 and 2021 world champion, but also by the other former Dakar winners riding Austrian motorbikes, Toby Price and Sam Sunderland. It goes without saying that Honda will also be in the mix, with Ricky Brabec as a dependable asset, but also with his new stablemate at the Japanese constructor, Pablo Quintanilla, who already tasted glory in 2016 and 2017. A strong performance on the Saudi tracks and dunes will be required to avoid being knocked out of contention in the first round.

The desire to hold jousts year-round has a lot to do with the champions, but rally raids also whet the appetite of private structures that race on the same terrain and also come out all guns blazing. The T3 and T4 categories have all the ingredients for a competition in which amateurs sometimes carry the day. For example, among the lightweight prototypes, Cristina Gutiérrez (OT3-Red Bull) and "Chaleco" López (CanAm-South Racing) will have to keep a close eye on candidates such as Jean-Luc Pisson (PH-Sport) and Annett Fisher (Yamaha), who intend to go the distance for all 5 rounds. Among the SSVs, Austin Jones (CanAm-South Racing) will also have his work cut out for him, with drivers such as the Italian Eugenio Amos and the young Lithuanian Rokas Baciuška snapping at his heels in equivalent machines.

Finally, the launch of this new formula has given FIA the opportunity to create a separate category for trucks, for which new regulations have been devised. Two teams will be leading the charge and building momentum for the competition: Big Shock Racing Team, spearheaded by Czech Martin Macík, and Fesh-Fesh Team, with Albert Llovera at the helm.

 

Source ASO

FIM Bajas World Cup 2022 Provisional Calendar

FIM Bajas World Cup 2022 Provisional Calendar

FIM revelead the provisional callendar for the 2022 FIM Bajas World Cup that should be made by the following races:

Date FMNR Event Venue Country
17-19 February - RMCJ Jordan Baja - Aqaba - Jordan
24 -26 February - QMMF Qatar Intl. Baja - Doha - Qatar
06-08 May - FMP Baja do Oeste - Torres Vedras - Portugal
22-23 July - RFME Baja Aragon - Teruel - Spain
04-07 August - MAMS Hungarian Baja - Varpalota - Hungary
29-31 August - FMC Atacama Baja 1 - Iquique - Chile
01-02 September - FMC Atacama Baja 2 - Iquique - Chile
27-29 October - FMP Baja Portalegre - Portalegre - Portugal
10-12 November - SAMF Saudi Baja * - Tbc - Saudi Arabia
01-03 December - EMSO Dubai Intl. Baja - Dubai - United Arab Emirate

Format:
•A Series of nine Events around the world. Each with a scoring coefficient of 1(*).
•The Final of the Series with a scoring coefficient of 2 ().
•The Final is open to all competitors, but in order to have a chance of being ranked in the FIM Bajas World Cup classification, competitors must have finished at least one of the nine previous Events of the Series and scored points in it. Those competitors will be eligible for the FIM Bajas World Cup Title.

Final Standings of the FIM Bajas World Cup
•The final classification of the Bajas World Cup will be established on the basis of the two best results in the FIM Bajas World Cup Series in addition with the points awarded in the Final.
•This is valid in all three categories (Motorbikes, Quads and SSV) and in all three classes (Women's, Junior and Veteran).

Safety:
For the entire course, the wearing of a waistcoat or airbag jacket is compulsory. The airbag system must comply with FIM standards.

 

Source FIM
Photo Rally-Raid Network

Inaugural 2022 FIA World Rally-Raid Championship calendar announced


Following an e-vote by the members of the World Motor Sport Council, the calendar for the inaugural FIA World Rally-Raid Championship - the seventh World Championship under the governance of the FIA - is confirmed

The five-round FIA World Rally-Raid Championship is launched with the famous Dakar Rally, which next year will take the contenders back to Saudi Arabia for an epic 14-day adventure in the spectacular sand and dunes of the Empty Quarter. The Championship remains in the Middle East for the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge before heading to central Asia and Kazakhstan, where the arid scrublands and deserts of the world’s largest landlocked country provide another different challenge. Rally Andalucia marks the World Championship’s visit to Europe, while Rallye du Maroc on the African continent rounds out the inaugural season with its wide range of technical, fast and sandy tracks, as well as dunes.

Working in partnership with A.S.O. - the new exclusive promoter of the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship - the calendar has been established together with the FIA to harmonise with the FIA Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, ensuring competitors a diverse and cohesive calendar for the discipline.

Jean Todt, FIA President, said:

“Following the announcement of the partnership with A.S.O. for the promotion of the new FIA World Rally-Raid Championship, I am delighted to see another big milestone confirmed today with the series’ inaugural calendar. To count the Dakar Rally as the curtain opener is a genuine transition and a great achievement. We can even talk about a revolution, as new energies are being introduced. Motor sport competition is a laboratory as we constantly strive to develop “clean cars”. From a sporting perspective, this leaves room for creativity and imagination.”

Yann Le Moënner, CEO of Amaury Sport Organisation, said:

“While the discipline is getting structured, it’s the start of a virtuous cycle to drive the energy transition and achieve "zero emissions" by 2030. The creation of the T1-Ultimate class is the foundation stone of the building: pioneer vehicles will set out to conquer the Saudi desert with alternative technologies, opening the way for all the manufacturers who are maturing their projects. We want to give this medium-term strategy a sustained pace, while setting realistic deadlines.”
 

2022 FIA World Rally-Raid Championship

01-14/01

SAU

Dakar Rally

05-10/03

ARE

Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

24-30/04

KAZ

Kazakhstan Rally

06-12/06

ESP

Rally Andalucia

06-12/10

MAR

Rallye du Maroc

 

Source: FIA

Eight-round calendar announced for the 2022 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas


Following a proposal by the FIA Cross-Country Rally Commission, the World Motor Sport Council has voted electronically to approve the calendar for the 2022 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas.

2021 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas - Baja Esoana Aragon - Y. Al Rajhi Yazeed/M. Orr, Toyota Hilux Overdrive (DPPI Media / Paulo Maria)
Next year, the series will take in eight rounds across Europe and the Middle East, with the calendar and event locations aligned with the newly created FIA World Rally-Raid Championship to facilitate logistics and provide a wide-ranging and challenging season on a number of surfaces for competitors across the discipline.


The 2022 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas is confirmed as follows:

11-13 Februar - RUS -Baja Russia - Northern Forest
17-19 Februar - JOR - Jordan Baja*
08-10 July - ITA - Italian Baja*
22-24 July - ESP - Baja Spain
02-04 September  - POL - Baja Poland
28-30 October - PRT - Baja Portalegre
10-12 November - SAU - Saudi Baja*
01-03 December - ARE - Dubai International Baja*
* Subject to confirmation by the ASN
 
The calendars for the regional Cross-Country Baja Cups will be confirmed at the forthcoming World Motor Sport Council Meeting in Paris on December 15.


Source FIA
Photo Rally-Raid Network

A.S.O. announced as the first ever FIM World Rally-Raid Championship promoter


The FIM is proud and delighted to announce that Amaury Sport Organisation, better known as A.S.O, will become the promoter of the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship, which will be renamed FIM World Rally-Raid Championship as of 2022. The agreement with the company that is responsible for the Dakar and the Tour de France amongst many other headline events will be for an initial five-year term and marks the first time the series has had an official promoter since its inception in 2003. Over the last decade and half the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship has established itself as the premier championship of rally raid.

A.S.O is a company that owns, designs and organises top international ‘non-stadia’ sporting events. Its inhouse team brings with it great experience in event organisation and associated media thanks to delivering almost two hundred and fifty days of competition each year that is spread over ninety event across twenty five countries. A.S.O event portfolio covers sailing, running and golf alongside cycling and motorsports. Amaury Sport Organisation is a subsidiary of the Amaury Group, media and sport group that owns the French newspaper L’Equipe.

Inside this new collaborative framework, the FIM and A.S.O will work together to unify their sporting and technical regulations in order to provide a new level of consistency for competitors across all events whilst respecting its environmental strategy to support climate action, technology and innovation, improve safety and sustainable practices.

Marking the start of this new era, the Dakar as the World’s biggest off-road rally will open the 2022 season. The championship will include categories for RallyGP, Rally2, Rally3, Junior, Women, Veteran Trophies and Quad. The 2022 calendar, along with the championship’s new identity will be revealed during the 2022 Dakar presentation on Sunday 28th November, which will be broadcast live at 11.00hrs on the Dakar and Eurosport.fr platforms.

Speaking about this important partnership Jorge Viegas, FIM President said:

“After many years of discussion I am very proud to announce that A.S.O. will today become the promoter of the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship and that the Dakar will be part of the 2022 calendar for the very first time. It is an important milestone for the FIM to welcome such a prestigious event and promoter into the FIM family. A.S.O will take the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship to the next level where it deserves to be. Rendez-vous Sunday!”

Yann Le Moënner, CEO of A.S.O. concluded:

“We are particularly happy to join the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship with the Dakar which will kick off the 2022 season next January. I would like to thank the FIM and its President, Jorge Viegas, for the confidence he has shown in us having appointed A.S.O. as promoter of the FIM World Rally-Raid Championship. This Championship represents a great opportunity to develop the discipline, to harmonize the rules and to increase its media coverage. It is also the right time to work together to meet the challenge of the energy transition and further improve the safety of pilots.”

Source ASO
Photo © A.S.O./DPPI/F. Le Floc’h & A.S.O./DPPI/A.Vincent

 

Red-Lined unleashes radical new T1 REVO

Proudly South African race car maker’s stunning new machine is here

South African race car manufacturer Red-Lined International has launched its radical all-new race-ready Revo. Built to the latest FIA T1.1 class specification for petrol 4x4 race vehicles, the Red-Lined Revo is purpose built to compete in the FIA World Cup Cross Country Series including the Dakar Rally. It is designed and built to fulfil the dreams of the serious privateer and semi-professional rally raid teams. 

“The Red-Lined Revo is the first vehicle we have built that does not have to follow an existing pickup truck design,” Red-Lined International team boss Terence Marsh explains. “Which means we were able to totally optimise the technical aerodynamic design of our all-new race car. “We invested significantly in putting the car through aerodynamic simulation tests to optimise its aero performance, which is why the Revo’s radical lines and body design are quite unique.”

Revo is proudly independently South African designed and built without affiliation to any motor manufacturer. Red-Lined is a privately owned business situated in Kyalami, South Africa with 21 years of rally raid experience including 10 successful Dakar campaigns. 

The company has utilised its extensive experience and expertise to optimise Revo’s performance and reliability with the driver and navigator, as well as a technical team's ease of maintenance at both the workshop and the race bivouac, top of mind.
 
The all-new Red-Lined Revo is powered by a Motec M1 electronics controlled mid-mounted normally aspirated 5-litre V8 engine with a dual radiator system for optimal cooling. It powers a latest specification, 11 kg lighter and stronger-built Sadev 6-speed sequential gearbox and all-wheel drive system. Revo features fully independent 280 mm travel 8-damper suspension with dual dampers in each corner.


 
Weighing in at 1850 kg dry, the Red-Lined Revo has a water cooled Powerbrake system and also features an onboard hydraulic jack system and a reverse camera. The FIA approved Red-Lined Revo is delivered ready to race.
 
Red-Lined International already has more than 40 cars competing out of 16 countries around the world. The Revo extends the Red-Lined International range to three models. The front engined 5-litre V8-powered Red-Lined VK50 has a solid rear axle and the mid-engine 5.6-litre V8 Red-Lined VK56, which also has a solid axle. Now the all-new mid-engined 5-litre V8 Red-Lined Revo joins the line-up with fully independent suspension.  
 
Red-Lined was established after team boss Terence Marsh travelled overseas in 2012 in search of a car suitable to race the Dakar. Disillusioned, Marsh returned to South Africa with the mission to design and build his own cars using South African expertise. The team was already running the ex-factory V6 Dakar Navaras, which were at the time replaced by the Red-Lined VK-50 and thereafter the VK-56. 

The all-new ground-up designed Revo marks a total departure for Red-Lined International.
 
Red-Lined race cars have successfully completed  8 out of the 10 Dakar Rallies they were entered in and 123 of 128 Dakar stages started. Red-Lined race cars have also finished every World Cup event around the world as well as the longer and more challenging Africa Eco Race, Russian Silkway and Chinese Taklimakan Rallies. 

Find out more about the company and its cars and contact Red-Lined International via www.red-lined.com.


Source Red-Lined

FIM World Cup 2021: 2021 Atacama Baja 1 & 2 cancelled

FIM Bajas World Cup - Calendar, UPDATE 29 July
2021 Atacama Baja 1 & 2 cancelled

The FIM, together with the Chilean Motorcycling Federation (FMC) and local organiser, regret to announce that the Atacama Baja 1 & 2 scheduled on 29 August to 01 September and 02 to 04 September in Copiapo have been cancelled.

Despite their best efforts and due to the sudden increase of restrictions put in place by the Chilean government in relation with the COVID-19 pandemic this year’s Atacama Bajas cannot be run.

The FIM expresses its thanks to all stakeholders involved for their continued efforts in these complicated times.

Revised 2021 calendar:
Date FMNR Event Venue Country
•18–20 February EMSO Dubai Intl. Baja Dubai United Arab Emirates
•18–20 March RMCJ Jordan Baja Aqaba Jordan
•23-25 July RFME Baja Aragon Teruel Spain
•05–08 August MAMS Hungarian Baja Varpalota Hungary
•30 September-02 October QMMF Qatar Intl. Baja Doha Qatar
•15-17 October FMP Baja do Oeste Torres Vedras Portugal
•28 -30 October FMP Baja Portalegre Portalegre Portugal

* Already run


Source FIM
Photo Rallyzone

 

Defender goes rallying: Bowler transforms reborn icon for 2022 Challenge Series

New Bowler Defender: Competition-prepared Land Rover Defender 90 showcases the very best of Bowler’s motorsport expertise 
Bowler conversion: Rally revisions include performance upgrades to suspension, modified underbody, fitment of roll cage and unique Bowler wheels
Perfect starting point: Builds on Land Rover Defender’s unstoppable capability, robust durability and natural balance
Bowler Defender Challenge: New rally competition series announced for 2022, exclusively featuring the all-new Bowler Defender
2022 Challenge: Seven UK-based rounds will feature in the single-series competition with the full support of Bowler 

 

Bowler Motors, the off-road performance specialist, has revealed the Land Rover Defender rally car that will compete in its own championship in 2022. 

The Bowler Defender Challenge is based on the Land Rover Defender 90 with a 221kW Ingenium 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. Bowler uses its long experience of competition to transform it into a rally car with a full roll cage, modified underbody, raised suspension, rally-spec 18-inch wheels and column-mounted paddle shifters.

Since going on sale in 2020 the Land Rover Defender has won acclaim from customers and media for its unstoppable capability, engaging drive and overall robustness. The more compact shorter wheelbase Defender 90 proved the perfect starting point for the Bowler conversion. 

The rally Defenders are built for their own competition – the Bowler Defender Challenge series – on seven events around the UK in 2022.

Michael van der Sande, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations, said:

“The development of the new Bowler Defender Challenge rally car perfectly illustrates the mutual benefits of Bowler joining Jaguar Land Rover Special Vehicle Operations. Our technical support married to Bowler’s legendary rally expertise has turned the extraordinarily capable Defender into a purposeful competition machine. The Bowler Defender Challenge will prove the Defender’s durability through some of the toughest conditions, while providing an exciting and accessible entry point into all-terrain motorsport for a new generation of Bowler and Land Rover customers.”


Bowler Defender Challenge: the car

Each Bowler Defender Challenge is completely stripped back to install a full FIA-standard roll cage. The front and rear subframes are modified and given additional bracing for a new bespoke performance suspension set-up. Designed in collaboration with Fox, it increases the ride height by 25mm. This purposeful stance is enhanced by new Bowler rally-spec 18-inch wheels.

Bowler’s engineers have provided a suite of electronic components, from fire protection and electrical cut-offs to additional lighting and vehicle control systems – all fully integrated into the existing electrical architecture. Competition race seats are installed and the gear selector is repositioned for the optimal racing position. Bowler-developed column-mounted paddle shifts complete the transition.

During the conversion Bowler subtly modify and stiffen the already extraordinarily rigid Defender bodyshell to cope with the extreme conditions of off-road competition. 

The standard doors are trimmed to remove the sill covering section, which allows the fitment of full-length, side-to-side underbody protection panels. A modified front end increases airflow to the cooling system and houses additional race-level lighting, while a new roof spoiler houses additional rear lighting.


Bowler Defender Challenge: the competition

The 2022 Challenge will run over seven UK-based rounds, with dates and locations to be announced later in the year. There are 12 entries available for the one-make series, with each team competing in identical Bowler-prepared Defenders. The series is open to veteran competitors and those with no competition experience. 

For those with limited experience or none, Bowler can offer training and support to gain the necessary licence before moving directly to the series. The Challenge has been an ideal platform on which to gain motorsport know-how before joining other Bowlers and competing in rally-raid events across the globe. 

For 2022 and beyond, the Challenge will continue to focus on delivering a fun environment that fosters the development of driving and competition skills yet retains the involving, engaging feel of a real motorsport family.

The competition calendar covers the UK and each Bowler Defender Challenge-equipped team will face a true mix of rally conditions. For each round there will be a full Bowler support team, with dedicated service areas. A hospitality area will help drivers and teams make the most of downtime and attend briefings throughout the events. The Challenge will enjoy full coverage through national and Bowler media channels. 


Bowler’s own Bowler Defender Challenge car will make its public debut at the Iceland Hill Rally 400km stage rally on 6-8 August.

Calum Mckechnie, Bowler General Manager, said: “The previous Defender Challenge powered by Bowler Motorsport was an incredible success. So, we are delighted to announce the new Bowler Defender Challenge, launch the series and provide this amazing opportunity to experience Bowler in its natural environment. Using the team’s unique skills, knowledge and experience, developed over years of challenge and rally raid competition, has resulted in a formidable competition vehicle that will be exciting and rewarding to drive.”

Packages for the 2022 Challenge will start at £99,500 which includes a Bowler-prepared Defender Challenge car, entry into the 2022 series, which starts in March, and event support. Further options include training, series logistics and vehicle support. A range of accessories developed as part of this programme will be available later in the year.

Further information on the Bowler Defender Challenge can be found at www.bowlermotors.com

 


SPECIFICATIONS


Bowler Land Rover Defender Challenge Car specification (modifications from base).

Structural body and chassis:

  • Monocoque bracing – minimises body movement and supports underbody protection
  • Full internal roll cage integrated with body and linking suspension mounts
  • Internal spare wheel mount integrated to roll cage
  • Additional front recovery points
  • Rally-spec gearbox cross member
  • Stiffened gearbox mounts
  • Strengthened engine mounts
  • Braced front and rear subframes
  • Front suspension turret brace
  • Rear turret brace
  • Strengthened radiator mounts
  • Adapted chassis and subframe mounts


Performance:

  • Cooling – auxiliary radiators removed and system redesigned to increase airflow to main radiator
  • Increased transmission cooling capacity
  • Bowler Sports exhaust system
  • Bowler 18” wheels with increased strength
  • All-terrain tyres
  • Bespoke suspension design with modified subframes, new springs and unique turrets for increased stiffness
  • Bespoke Fox dampers
  • Race steering wheel with quick release boss
  • Side air intake covers
  • High level air intake
  • Front upper wishbone revised to reflect new ride height geometry


Electrical/systems

  • ECU system integration with race box
  • ABS/DSC – rally control modifications
  • New integrated wiring harness for new components
  • New rally-spec facia 
  • Navigator control unit for lights/washer/horn
  • Rally system integration with JLR safety systems
  • Adapted body control unit


Regulatory

  • High-level rear marker lights
  • Alpine, door and rear windows replaced with polycarbonate
  • Race sports seats with specific race seat mounts
  • 6-point race harness
  • Integrated and hand-held fire suppression
  • Electrical cut-off switches – internal and external
  • Complete removal of all airbag systems


Design

  • Front bumper adapted to take new underbody protection
  • Bowler front grille with increased air flow
  • Rear roof spoiler with extended profile and integrated additional reversing lights
  • Front and rear wing shields to meet new underbody protection
  • Wheel arch extensions utilising accessory fitment
  • Door lowers – protection pieces on shortened doors
Rally Function
  • Additional bonnet-mounted windscreen washers – to deal with rally levels of water splash
  • Front driving lights for increased night driving illumination
  • Rally-spec mudflaps
  • Full underbody protection system – 6mm aluminium reinforced design
  • New gear shift position – optimised to sports seats
  • Column-mounted gear shift paddles – unique to Bowler
  • Passenger foot rest
  • Rear door manual release mechanism
  • Wheel arch lines – increased strength to meet rally requirements

Source Bowler

FIM Baja World Cup 2021: Revised calendar with new date for date for Qatar’s Round


The FIM and the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) has now confirmed that the 2021 Qatar International Baja will take place on the new dates from 30 September to 2 October.

Originally scheduled for the start of April, the Qatar International Baja round will run over a compact route laid on by the QMMF. Competitors will face three stages and 504.24 competitive kilometres in a route of 872.44km.

The FIM expresses its thanks to all stakeholders involved for their continued efforts in these complicated times.

Revised 2021 calendar:
Date - FMNR -  Event - Venue  - Country
•18–20 February - EMSO -  Dubai Intl. Baja - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
•18–20 March - RMCJ - Jordan Baja -  Aqaba - Jordan
•23-25 July - RFME -  Baja Aragon - Teruel - Spain
•05–08 August - MAMS - Hungarian Baja -  Varpalota - Hungary
•29 August-01 September - FMC - Atacama Baja 1-  Copiapo - Chile
•02-04 September  - FMC - Atacama Baja 2 - Copiapo - Chile
•30 September-02 October - QMMF - Qatar Intl. Baja - Doha - Qatar
•15-17 October - FMP - Baja do Oeste - Torres Vedras  - Portugal
•28 -30 October - FMP - Baja Portalegre - Portalegre - Portugal

Source FIM

Extreme E 2021: Preparations ramp up for Extreme E's Arctic X Prix


Extreme E’s Arctic X Prix in Greenland is just under two months' away and the series’ operations team have just completed their latest recce to the race site in Kangerlussuaq as preparations continue for the very first motorsport event to ever take place in the country.

James Taylor, Chief Championship Officer, Extreme E, said: “It has been a fantastic trip out to Greenland and the team continues to work closely with the Greenlandic Government, the people of Kangerlussuaq and our production partners to ensure we can put on a truly spectacular event.

“I’m really excited by this X Prix for a variety of reasons: bringing the very first motorsport event to Greenland, working with UNICEF to educate youngsters on climate change, the breathtaking landscape and the racing it will offer, plus of course the fact we will be at the heart of the climate crisis, where you can see with your own eyes the devastation being caused by global warming.

“I can’t wait to return in August and use our racing platform to educate on measures we can, and must, all take to help against the biggest challenge of our time – climate change.”

Whilst there, the team has been looking at the operational and logistical aspects, but also the race course itself, set to provide another weekend of thrilling racing. Championship Driver Timo Scheider was also in Greenland with the task of developing the course, alongside the sporting team, which will run on the edge of the Russell Glacier taking in a mixture of terrains including rocks, boulders, glacial sediment and sand dunes.  

Timo Scheider, Extreme E’s Championship Driver, said: “I was really, really excited to go to Greenland as it’s one of the few places in the world I haven't seen so far, and after facing the glacier so close and more or less touching it, it was pretty special for me, and also racing right next to it was an outstanding feeling.

“The course will include elements which we have haven't seen so far in Extreme E, so that's why I'm excited to see again what the drivers will see and how they will like it. It’s different in terms of innovation and the surface we have, so we will face some areas with sand, gravel, stones and even drops, which will be exciting for everyone. I’m really looking forward to the race weekend.”

Although the course will provide a stunning backdrop for racing, the area wasn’t chosen just for its picturesque views, it was chosen to highlight the climate crisis, particularly as part of the course itself is on an area that has retreated due to climate change.

Thanks to scientific research, some of which has been carried out by Extreme E’s Scientific Committee members, it is understood that the Arctic is warming at three times the global average rate due to climate change, leading to the accelerated disappearance of Arctic sea ice. NASA estimates that the mass of pack ice each September, at its summer minimum, has fallen by an average of 12.8 per cent in each decade over the last 40 years.

Professor Peter Wadhams, Head of Extreme E’s Scientific Committee, said: “The loss of sea ice has serious implications for the climate of the planet. But even more serious in many ways is what we will be investigating in Greenland - the accelerating melt of ice from the Greenland ice sheet, which is leading to a much faster rise in global sea levels.

“The ice sheet is melting at a record rate in summer. When we were last in Kangerlussuaq in August two years ago we encountered a record loss of ice from the ice sheet in a single day – 12.5 billion tons of water melted and of course ended up in the ocean, causing faster sea level rise.

“This record may get beaten this year, given the extraordinary air temperatures which we have been experiencing. The melt, and the rise in sea level, are accelerated even more by the fact that the ice surface is dirty with sediment, dust and plankton. This is left behind when the ice crystals melt, to produce what is called "black ice", which absorbs radiations very effectively. We will be studying the origin and nature of black ice and its power to speed up ice melt.”

Greenland is lesser known as a tourist destination, but it attracts adventure travellers looking to experience ancient ice in all grandeur and forms, contrasting nature like midnight sun and northern lights, wildlife and Greenlandic culture. It offers a plethora of activities including hiking, snowmobiling, kayaking, ski touring, boat tours and much, much more. As a country, it is also thinking ahead when it comes to sustainability and e-mobility with nearly one fifth of motor vehicles being electric or hybrid, and the country also produces much of its own energy with the aim of increasing its renewable energy output from 70 to 100 per cent by 2030. Both these things are very much in line with Extreme E, a series racing all-electric SUVs and utilising innovative technologies from hydrogen fuel cells for car charging to second-life batteries to power the paddock to be as sustainable as possible.

Hjörtur Smárason, CEO at Visit Greenland, said:

“Extreme E is a perfect match for Greenland. The innovative mindset and focus on sustainability fits how Greenland aims to develop as a tourism destination. With its grand glaciers and the Ice Sheet, Greenland offers a­­­­­­­­­­ chance to explore climate change in action, giving guests an opportunity to unplug into nature and experience pure silence in an otherwise busy world.” 

While in-country the series will continue its work with UNICEF, a collaboration which sees educational materials focussing on climate change being developed for youngsters in Greenland. This is part of championship’s Legacy Programme which aims to leave a long-lasting positive impact in each and every country it races in.

Some of the biggest names in motorsport including Carlos Sainz Snr., Sébastien Loeb, Catie Munnings and Molly Taylor will be in Greenland for the Arctic X Prix which is from 28 – 29 August and can be watched via a host of global broadcasters including ITV, Sky Sports, BT Sport and BBC digital channels in the UK, Eurosport in Europe and FOX Sports in America. 

 

 

Source Extreme E

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