Dakar

2024 Dakar Rally: 47 approved for Dakar Experience

3 Mins read
Credit: Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool

Seth Quintero‘s hopes of winning the 2024 Dakar Rally went up in smoke when an oil pipe broke during Stage #4. Fortunately, his Dakar is technically not over as he and forty-six others have been approved for the Dakar Experience, which will allow them to contest the rest of the race even if they are classified at the bottom of the order with significant time penalties.

When a competitor is forced to retire from a stage, they can either drop out entirely and head home or receive a second chance to continue under the Dakar Experience. This relegates them to what is effectively a last-place finish in the final results, but lets them still take part so long as their vehicle is able to keep going. They only have one restart, meaning another stage retirement during the Rally’s second half takes them out altogether; however, they can rejoin if the exit was due to injury and they are cleared to race.

Dakar Experience racers are required to have an orange filter on their number plate to separate them from those in contention. They can still compete for stage wins, though victories will not impact their standing in the overall; Quintero perhaps best exemplified this in 2022 when he was relegated to the Experience after just the second stage but went on to win every stage the rest of the way. Once they complete the final stage, they will not be allowed to stand on the podium like other finishers but may instead pass below a titled arch.

Quintero is one of eleven cars in the top Ultimate category who are in the Dakar Experience, with other notable faces including Krzysztof Hołowczyc and Brian Baragwanath. Hołowczyc was involved in a bizarre accident with Kris Meeke during the Chrono Stage on Thursday that knocked the latter out of the race with terminal damage, rendering him unable to enter the Dakar Experience, while Baragwanath was sidelined for the third and fourth legs as he waited for new front suspension parts to arrive from South Africa.

Silvio Totani made headlines when he used his Nissan Patrol to pull the overturned truck of Richard de Groot in Stage #5, but he suffered a radiator issue shortly after completing the stage that forced him to skip the Chrono Stage.

Seven are Challenger entries such as Glenn Brinkman and Ignacio Casale, the latter forced to retire from the third day while. Six are production-based cars in the SSV category like Juan Font and Maha Al-Hamali. Al-Hamali rolled shortly before completing the Chrono Stage.

The Trucks feature the most entries in the Experience with sixteen. Four are T5.1 entries that intended to compete for the win, whereas the others are mostly assistance and support vehicles in the T5.2 subcategory.

Five bikes and a quad are taking part. The lone Quad entry Samuel Desbuisson is also the only FIM rider in the Experience who is earning World Rally-Raid Championship points. Bike racer Jacob Argubright was forced to bow out with a mechanical issue, while Sunier sacrificed his oil line to Kove team-mate Mason Klein during Stage #3.

Klein retired on Friday, but would not have been allowed to enter the Dakar Experience as RallyGP riders are forbidden from restarting the race after exiting a stage.

Dakar Experience competitors

Ultimate (T1)

NumberDriverTeam
216Seth QuinteroToyota Gazoo Racing
217Krzysztof HołowczycX-raid Mini JCW Team
219Brian BaragwanathCentury Racing
232Pascal ThomasseMD Rallye Sport
242Marcos BaumgartX Rally Team
244Jean-Pierre StrugoMD Rallye Sport
246Frédéric ChesneauSkybox Rally-Raid
247Michel KremerCoronel Dakar Team
253Philippe BoutronSodicars Racing
269Antoine DelaporteOff Road Concept
271Silvio TotaniMotortechnica Racing Team

Stock (T2)

NumberDriverTeam
503Ibrahim AlmuhnaIbrahim Almuhna

Challenger (T3)

NumberDriverTeam
309Ignacio CasaleX-raid Yamaha Supported Team
326Glenn BrinkmanPH Sport
334Pál LónyaiX-raid Yamaha Supported Team
343Gunter HinkelmannBBR Motorsport
346Manuel Plaza PérezSodicars Racing
349Antonio Garcia ComaASM Motorsport
351Edwin OpsteltenGaia Motorsports

SSV (T4)

NumberDriverTeam
412Juan Miguel MederoSodicars Racing
430Grzegorz BrochockiOverlimit
431Jose VidañaPedrega Team
432Maha Al-HamaliRX Team
438Juan FontScuderia Ramilo Rodamoto
441Rafa Muñoz CámaraPedrega Team

Truck (T5)

NumberDriverTeam
613Vaidotas PaškevičiusFesh Fesh Team
614Egbert WingensTeam Boucou Assistance
619Albert LloveraFesh Fesh Team
624Steven RotsaertRTS Racing (Overdrive Racing)
627Jérémie DemartyTeam Boucou Assistance
636Cesare RicklerTH-Trucks Team
638Didier MonseuBahrain Raid Xtreme
639Manuel BorreroTibau Team (YunXiang Racing)
640Norbert SzalaiTeam SSP
641Zsolt DarazsiTeam SSP
642Alberto RomeroTH-Trucks Team (Sodicars Racing)
643Dusan RandysekTeam SSP
644Francesc Ester FernandezTH-Trucks Team
645Marco PianaXtremeplus
646Sébastien FargeasTeam Boucou Assistance
651Ahmed BenbekhtiSTA Competition (Rebellion Racing)

Bike

NumberRiderTeam
21Jacob ArgubrightDUUST Rally Team
45SunierKove Moto
56Zakeer YakefuWu Pu Da Hai Dao Rally Team
63Jaromír RomančíkOrion – Moto Racing Group
109Mohamed Aoulad AliClub Aventura Touareg

Quad

NumberRiderTeam
178Samuel DesbuissonDrag’on Rally Team
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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