Armindo Araujo eyeing 2024 Dakar Rally debut

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Credit: Armindo Araújo

Armindo Araújo hopes to be another driver with World Rally Championship experience to take part in the legendary Dakar Rally, having set his sights on racing the 2024 edition.

Araújo has forty-eight WRC starts to his name since 2001, seeing success at the turn of the decade when he ran much of the calendar and claimed the 2009 and 2010 Production World Rally Championships. After a five-year hiatus, he returned to the sport in 2017 in the Portugal Rally Championship while also entering the WRC’s Rally de Portugal every year since 2018.

While once again resuming his rally career, he is also keen on checking out rally raid with the possibility of committing to it full-time upon wrapping up his time in rallying. Indeed, his 2023 will be a blend of competing in the Portugal Rally Championship as well as the Portugal All-Terrain Championship (Campeonato Portugal de Todo-o-terreno, CPTT). He races a Can-Am Maverick X3 for Santag Racing in the latter with Luís Ramalho as co-driver.

His 2023 CPTT campaign began on a strong note in February when he finished third overall and won the T3 class at the season-opening Baja TT Montes Alentejanos, only placing behind a pair of top-level Toyota Hilux T1 entries.

Araújo had expressed interest in the CPTT after the 2021 PRC season, where he finished runner-up by just one point to Ricardo Teodósio.

“As in every season, we entered the Portuguese Rally Championship with the intention of fighting for victories in all races and reaching the absolute top. This is what we work for and what we will be focused on,” wrote Araújo in February. “The possibility arose of joining the rallies project, a new challenge in All-Terrain. I’m very pleased with this new connection to Santag and we’re going to work towards reaching the Dakar together next year. This is our big dream and it will be in this sense that we will work.”

Crossovers between rallying and rally raid are plentiful throughout both disciplines’ histories such as WRC legend and current World Rally-Raid Championship leader Sébastien Loeb and Nasser Al-Attiyah, the reigning Dakar winner and 2006 PWRC titlist. 2003 World Rally Champion Petter Solberg is also looking at a Dakar appearance as early as 2024.

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