World Rally-Raid Championship

Abu Dhabi winner Tobias Ebster to make Rallye du Maroc debut

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Credit: Tobias Ebster

Tobias Ebster secured his ticket to the 2024 Dakar Rally when he won the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge‘s Rally2 category outright, even beating out those fighting for the World Rally-Raid Championship. Before heading to Saudi Arabia in January, he will have new ground to tackle when he enters the Rallye du Maroc in October.

After mostly competing in amateur rallies alongside his usual motocross and enduro events, Ebster made his début in an FIM cross-country world series at the 2022 FIM Bajas World Cup-ending Dubai International Baja. Two months later, he entered his maiden W2RC round at the ADDC; while not competing for points, he quickly set the tone by winning the Prologue among Rally2 bikes.

Paolo Lucci took the overall lead after taking the first three main stages, but Ebster kept close as he never finished worse than third during that stretch even after crashing and enduring clutch issues in Stage #1. Lucci’s own accident and injury in Stage #4 promoted Jean-Loup Lepan to the top spot with Ebster in tow before the latter scored the walk-off victory in the fifth and final leg.

His uncle Heinz Kinigadner won the inaugural ADDC bike overall in 1995. Kinigadner is currently a consultant for KTM Motorsport and W2RC RallyGP team Red Bull KTM Factory Racing.

As the overall winner, Ebster also defeated eight other riders for the Road to Dakar that earned him free admission to the Dakar Rally. The Road to Dakar is awarded at each W2RC event to the best bike and SSV competitor with no prior Dakar experience. Some of his fellow ADDC RtD riders are also competing at Dakar in 2024 such as Vincent Biau, Oran O’Kelly, and Modestas Siliunas.

Scheduled for 13–18 October, the Rallye du Maroc will be Ebster’s first time racing in Morocco. The event, which serves as the W2RC season finale, is often used for Dakar-bound teams as a final dress rehearsal for that race.

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