Following an accident in Morocco, Jean-Pascal Besson will have to skip the 2024 Dakar Rally. It would have been his twelfth time running the race.
The accident resulted in three fractures in his arm and a radial head fracture of the elbow.
“Following my recent accident, I suffered several fractures and I will not have recovered from my injuries by January 5, 2024,” wrote Besson on social media. “I leave my co-pilot, my 3 mechanics and the truck driver at the disposal of a serious team who could hire them for this edition.”
Besson has raced at Dakar since 2007, finishing nineteenth in the T3 category at his eleventh start in January. The start came in a Can-Am provided by MMP Compétition, and provided a rebound after a rollover resulted in both him and co-driver Patrice Roissac getting hurt. Delphine Delfino took over as his navigator for the 2023 race.
After Dakar, Besson has participated in various desert events in Morocco such as the M’Hamid Express and Raid Méhari 2 CV of Morocco. The latter was organised by Besson for Citroën Méhari owners.
As mentioned in his post, he is open to leasing his team and car—an MD Optimus EVO 4—to those planning to take part. Unlike the Can-Am, the Optimus is a T1 car that competes in the top-level Ultimate class which would have been Besson’s return to the class; he previously raced a Peugeot 3008 DKR formerly run by Sébastien Loeb.
The 2024 Dakar Rally begins on 5 January.