Off Road

Extreme E racers, newcomers Sordo and Harley-Davidson among Baja Aragon entries

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Credit: Marian Chytka/Red Bull Content Pool

The Baja España Aragón serves as Spain’s premier rally raid with sanction by the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, FIM Bajas World Cup, and Real Federacion Espanola de Automovilismo‘s Spanish Cross-Country Rallyes Championship. Among the field of 165 for the thirty-eighth edition are names ranging from Dakar Rally winners to Extreme E competitors, and newcomers like American motorcycle brand Harley-Davidson in the newly created Trail class. Ninety-two entrants comprise the FIA-sanctioned grid, while 108 are eligible for the RFEDA Trophy.

Spanish Cross-Country Rallyes Championship leaders José Antonio Ramos and Daniel Alonso will face a contingent of outside threats like Nasser Al-Attiyah, who is perhaps the hottest driver in the field as the reigning Dakar champion and a four-time Baja Aragón winner (2008, 2016, 2017, 2021). Overdrive Racing is helping to prepare Al-Attiyah’s Toyota Gazoo Racing Hilux T1+ along with the Hiluxes of Yazeed Al-Rajhi, who is coming off a convincing Italian Baja overall victory, and Italian Baja T3 winner Erik Van Loon. Al-Rajhi is pursuing the #205 T1 of Miroslav Zapletal for the FIA World Cup.

Two weeks removed from the Island X Prix doubleheader, Extreme E will be well represented as Al-Attiyah is joined by Cristina Gutiérrez, Christine GZ, and Catie Munnings. Gutiérrez and GZ return to their home rally, where the former has consistently been the highest-finishing female competitor while the latter last raced in 2019, in the T3 category. Munnings finished forty-fourth overall and sixth in T3 in the 2021 edition but will move to T4 for 2022.

World Rally Championship driver Dani Sordo will once again make the metaphorical jump to rally raid as he runs the Baja Aragón for the first time in T3 for Al-Attiyah’s Nasser Racing. He entered the discipline for the first time at the Qatar International Baja in March, where he finished thirteenth overall.

Vanina Ickx, daughter of the great Jacky Ickx, is entered in the T3 class with G Rally Team, where she is team-mates with Red Bull drivers Gutiérrez and 2022 Dakar T3 stage winner Guillaume de Mevius.

In the Motos, Trail class for 600–950cc bikes will see its début. Harley-Davidson will field a Pan America 1250 for Dakar veteran Joan Pedrero in the class, marking its entry into international rally raid. The company is best known for its roadgoing choppers while racing exploits have generally been on pavement such as MotoAmerica King of the Baggers and drag racing. Nevertheless, H-D has some experience with non-asphalt competition like American Flat Track and SCORE International’s Baja 1000; Larry Roeseler won the 1975 Baja 500 on a Harley-Davidson SX-250, his first of twelve.

The 595-km rally begins on 23 July. The full entry list can be found at the Baja Aragón website.

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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