Dakar to kick start World Rally Raid Championship with spectacular entry

Dakar to kick start World Rally Raid Championship with spectacular entry

The W2RC’s curtain-raiser will feature a record-breaking 20 entrants in the ‘Ultimate’ group (formerly T1), 12 ‘Challengers’ (formerly T3), and 11 ‘SSVs’ (formerly T4) with registered crews coming from 19 countries. Toyota Gazoo Racing, Nasser Racing by Prodrive, Team Audi Sport and the X-Raid Mini JCW Team will all be fighting for laurels in the Manufacturers’ Championship in the top category.

The FIA World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC) continues to go from strength-to-strength and, as the FIA-sanctioned series enters its third year at the forefront of cross-country rallying, support for each of the rebranded race categories is rapidly on the increase.

The promoting A.S.O. has announced a demanding five-event calendar for 2024 that starts with the world-famous Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia next month and moves on to the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge at the end of February, a new event on the Iberian Peninsula in early April, a return to the Desafío Ruta 40 in Argentina at the start of June and the traditional finale through the Moroccan deserts in early October. 

Two-time champions Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel top the entry list after switching allegiance to defend their title in 2024 at the wheel of a Nasser Racing-entered Prodrive Hunter. Toyota competition comes from the likes of last year’s runner-up Yazeed Al-Rajhi, Lucas Moraes, Juan Cruz Yacopini, Guerlain Chicherit, last year’s W2RC T3 champion Seth Quintero, Guillaume de Mévius, Lionel Baud, Saood Variawa and Denis Krotov.

Carlos Sainz, Stéphane Peterhansel and Mattias Ekström drive the three Audi RS Q E-Tron E2s, Martin Prokop is again entered in a Ford Raptor and defending European Baja Cup champion Krzysztof Holowczyc will tackle the series in an X-Raid JCW Rally Plus.

There are additional entries from Aliyyah Koloc, Jean-Luc Ceccaldi and a pair of X Rally Team Hunters for Marcos and Cristian Baumgart. Young Spaniard Pau Navarro has made the step up to drive an X-Raid Mini JCW Rally Plus after winning last season’s European Baja Cup’s T4 category.

The Challenger class features four Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbos, seven Taurus T3 Max machines and a Yamaha YXZ 1000R.

Last year’s W2RC SSV (T4) champion Rokas Baciuška and 2023 T3 Dakar winner Austin Jones represent the Can-Am Factory Team with David Zille and Ricardo Porém also driving Can-Ams.

In addition to a solitary Yamaha YXZ 1000R for Mario Franco, the Polish Energylandia Rally Team is running three Taurus T3 Max for Eryk, Michal and Marek Goczal, Team BBR has entered a Taurus for Marcelo Tiglia Gastaldi and the Taurus team in conjunction with the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team is running a Taurus for American racer Mitch Guthrie. Nicolas Cavigliasso drives a Wevers Sport-run Taurus T3 Max alongside Saudi female team-mate Dania Akeel.

The SSV section will see nine BRP Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbos battling it out for supremacy with a pair of Polaris RZR Pro Rs. João Ferreira (Can-Am Factory Team) leads the way against the likes of veteran Claude Fournier and the South Racing Can-Am Team trio of Eduardo Pons, defending World Cup Baja SSV champion Cristiano de Sousa Batista and Sara Price.

Both Sebastian Guayasamin and Rebecca Busi are also registered in FN Speed Team Can-Ams. They competed in the category last year and finished fifth and ninth in the points’ standings. Yasir Seaidan, Andre Thewessen and the Polaris duo of Michele Cinotto and Enrico Gaspari round off the registered entrants.

The Dakar starts in Al-Ula on January 5th and features a rest day in Riyadh on January 13th before finishing in Yanbu on January 19th. Competitors will tackle 4,727 kilometres against the clock in a gruelling route of 7,891km. It will be the 46th edition of the iconic event and the fifth in succession to take place entirely in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The capacity entry of 199 cars and trucks (70 Ultimate, 43 Challenger, 36 SSV, three Stock and 47 Trucks) features 43 crews registered for the 2024 W2RC.

The Dakar will launch with a major overhaul to the naming of events, cars and championships. This should make the various classes and type of vehicle easier to understand for competitors and fans alike. Read here for more details.

2024 Dakar Rally - W2RC entries - Ultimate group

200. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Mathieu Baumel (FRA)     Prodrive Hunter 
201. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU)/Timo Gottschalk (DEU)     Toyota Hilux Overdrive 
202. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/Edouard Boulanger (FRA)    Audi RS Q E-tron E2
204. Carlos Sainz (ESP)/Lucas Cruz (ESP)    Audi RS Q E-tron E2
205. Juan Cruz Yacopini (ARG)/Daniel Carreras (ESP)    Toyota Hilux Overdrive
206. Lucas Moraes (BRA)/Armand Monleón (ESP)    Toyota GR DKR Hilux
207. Mattias Ekström (SWE)/Emil Bergkvist (SWE)    Audi RS Q E-tron E2
208. Martin Prokop (CZE)/Viktor Chytka (CZE)    Ford Raptor RS 
211. Guerlain Chicherit (FRA)/Alex Winocq (FRA)    Toyota Hilux Overdrive 
215. Denis Krotov (KGZ)/Konstantin Zhiltsov    Toyota Hilux Overdrive
216. Seth Quintero (USA)/Dennis Zenz (DEU)    Toyota GR DKR Hilux
217. Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL)/Lukasz Kurzeja (POL)     X-Raid Mini John Cooper Works Rally Plus
221. Guillaume de Mevius (BEL)/Xavier Panseri (FRA)    Toyota Hilux Overdrive
226. Saood Variawa (ZAF)/François Cazalet (FRA)    Toyota GR DKR Hilux
229. Lionel Baud (FRA)/Lucie Baud (FRA)     Toyota Hilux Overdrive
230. Pau Navarro (ESP)/Goncalo Reis (ESP)    X-Raid Mini John Cooper Works Rally Plus
239. Aliyyah Koloc (SYC)/Sébastien Delaunay (FRA)    Red-Lined Revo+
241. Jean-Luc Ceccaldi (FRA)/Thomas Gaidella (FRA)    MD Optimus 
242. Marcos Baumgart (BRA)/Kleber Cincea (BRA)    Prodrive Hunter 
245. Cristian Baumgart (BRA)/Alberto Andreotti (BRA)     Prodrive Hunter

2024 Dakar Rally  – W2RC entries - Challenger group

300. Rokas Baciuška (LTU)/Oriol Vidal (ESP)    Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo 
302. Eryk Goczal (POL)/Oriol Mena (ESP)    Taurus T3 Max
303. Mitch Guthrie (USA)/Kellon Walch (USA)    Taurus T3 Max
304. Marek Goczal (POL)/Maciej Marton (POL)    Taurus T3 Max
305. Austin Jones (USA)/Gustavo Gugelmin (BRA)    Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo
308. David Zille (ARG)/Sebastian Cesana (ARG)    Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo
310. Michal Goczal (POL)/Szymon Gospodarczyk (POL)    Taurus T3 Max
312. Nicolas Cavigliasso (ARG)/Valentina Pertegarini (ARG)    Taurus T3 Max
315. Ricardo Porém (PRT)/Augusto Sanz (PRT)    Can-Am MMP T3 Rally-Raid
317. Mario Franco (PRT)/Daniel Jordão (PRT)    Yamaha YXZ 1000R
318. Marcelo Tiglia Gastaldi (BRA)/Carlos Sachs (BRA)    Taurus T3 Max
329. Dania Akeel (SAU)/Stéphane Duplé (FRA)    Taurus T3 Max

2024 Dakar Rally  – W2RC entries - SSV group

400. João Ferreira (PRT)/Filipe Palmeiro (PRT)    Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo
404. Claude Fournier (FRA)/Serge Gounon (FRA)    Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo
406. Rebecca Busi (ITA)/Sergio Lafuente (URY)    Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo
407. Eduardo Pons (ESP)/Jaume Betriu (ESP)     Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo
408. Yasir Seaidan (SAU)/Adrien Metge (FRA)    Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo
409. Sebastian Guayasamin (ECU)/Fernando Acosta (ARG)    Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo
410. Michele Cinotto (ITA)/Alberto Bertoldi (ITA)    Polaris RZR Pro R
414. Cristiano Batista (BRA)/Fausto Moto (PRT)    Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo
419. Sara Price (USA)/Jeremy Gray (USA)    Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo
440. Andre Thewessen (NLD)/Dmytro Tsyro (UKR)    Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo
442. Enrico Gaspari (ITA)/Facundo Jaton (ARG)    Polaris RZR Pro R

Key 2024 FIA W2RC entry list facts and figures:

43 registered crews (20 Ultimate, 12 Challenger and 11 SSV).
Five events in the Middle East, Europe, South America and Africa.
Manufacturer entries from Toyota Gazoo Racing, Nasser Racing by Prodrive, Team Audi Sport and X-Raid Mini JCW Team.
Driver entries from 19 countries (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, France, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Sweden, Czech Republic, Kyrgyzstan, U.S.A., Poland, Belgium, South Africa, Seychelles, Lithuania, Portugal, Italy, Equador and the Netherlands).

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