Aliyyah Koloc beginning move to T1 rally raid with Red-Lined

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Credit: Buggyra Racing

Aliyyah Koloc‘s Dakar Rally début might be in a Can-Am in the T3 category, but she already has ambitions of moving up to the top-level T1 class. Koloc recently spoke with The Checkered Flag, during which she expressed her interest in competing in T1 in the future, and Red-Lined International will give her that chance as she will pilot a REVO T1+ truck in the 2023 South African Rally-Raid Championship.

The effort will be overseen by Thomas Bell Racing, whose namesake owner races in the T1 class.

“Red-Lined Motorsport is proud to be part of this great development initiative together with Buggyra and Tom Bell Racing,” said Red-Lined head Terence Marsh. “Aliyyah is a really exciting prospect with proven results at a young age. Being a young talented female driver of colour, her presence in a Red-Lined T1 REVO will add a fresh and unique new twist to the South African Rally-Raid championship.”

Introduced in 2022, T1+ is a higher categorisation within T1. Only three vehicles meet the regulations for the 2023 Dakar Rally: the Toyota Hilux that Nasser Al-Attiyah drove to victory in 2022, the Prodrive Hunter led by Bahrain Raid Xtreme, and the new Mini John Cooper Works Rally Plus that X-raid Team races. However, although interest in the fledgling class has been tempered by supply chain troubles, other T1+ cars are starting to spring up like the REVO and Ford Ranger.

Red-Lined is fielding two VK50 T1 trucks, for Dave Klaassen and Ronald van Loon at Dakar 2023; the VK50 is based on the Nissan Navara. On the other hand, the manufacturer’s REVO unveiled in 2021 is not modelled after an existing pickup truck and thus can be optimised for performance.

“I am absolutely delighted that Buggyra Racing has partnered up with Red-Lined Motorsport as the manufacturer and Tom Bell Racing to help take my development programme to the next level as I continue on my journey to the highest level in rally-raid racing,” Koloc commented. “I have had a great run so far in my Can-Am, and our focus for now remains on our 2023 Dakar side-by-side participation.

“From there, we will begin our programme to step up to a Red-Lined T1 REVO in the hugely competitive South African championship. And thereafter when the time is right, we will step up to a full FIA T1+ specification REVO+, with an objective of racing it in the Dakar Rally.”

Koloc won the 2022 FIA Middle East Cup for Cross-Country Bajas. She will race at Dakar for Buggyra Racing, who is also fielding a T3 for Josef Macháček; Koloc’s twin sister Yasmeen was originally set to take part but had to back out due to injury.

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