Rally raid veteran Frederic Chavigny dies at 57

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Credit: Silk Way Rally

Frédéric Chavigny, a French agronomist who made his mark in Eastern European rally raid, passed away recently at the age of 57.

Chavigny mainly raced in the Ukrainian Rally-Raid Cup, intended as an escape from his work in agriculture. He made his Dakar Rally début in the T2 category in 2009, finishing fiftieth overall. He improved as high as twenty-third in 2011 before switching to T1 in 2014 and placing sixteenth in the T1.1 subcategory (forty-second overall).

When staying in Europe, he also took part in the Silk Way Rally and was a mainstay in T2, which he won in 2011.

“In January, there is not much work in Ukraine, and this gave me the opportunity to participate in the Dakar Rally,” Chavigny explained to Latifundist in 2014. “In July, before the start of the harvest, I free up seven to ten days in my schedule to participate in the Silk Way and meet with partners and clients after the races. So this is not only a vacation, but also a continuation of the business: you never know where you will find and where you will lose.”

Off the track, he entered the agriculture business in 1986 in his native France before arriving in Ukraine five years later as a sugar consultant. In 1997, he founded ByFrederic to sell machinery assisting in planting seeds like corn and soybeans. He became the president of ASPRIA Seeds, which specialises in providing seeds of non-GMO plants, in 2012; under his watch, ASPRIA maintained multiple branches in Ukraine and Georgia.

“The Silk Way Rally Organizers send condolences to the family and friends of Frédéric Chavigny,” reads a statement from the SWR. “The talented businessman was very successful in rally-raids, arousing admiration among motorsport professionals and fans.

“We will miss him. Rest in peace!”

Frédéric Chavigny: 29 April 1965 – 2 April 2023

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