Pablo Copetti switches to SSV for 2025 Dakar Rally

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Credit: Charly Lopez/ASO

Pablo Copetti will continue to race on four wheels after the Dakar Rally killed the Quad category for 2025, albeit on the FIA side instead as he plans to enter the race in the SSV class. He will drive a Polaris RZR Pro R for TH-Trucks Team with Santiago Hansen as his co-driver.

Copetti has run the Dakar Rally on a Quad since 2010, winning seven stages across his career with three third-place finishes in 2017, 2021, and 2023. However, a lack of budget and dissatisfaction with the Amaury Sport Organisation’s new policies for Quad riders prompted him to skip the 2024 edition; he was originally considering to switch to SSV for the race but was unable to because of low funding.

Despite Quads being popular during the Dakar’s run in South America during the 2010s, decreasing manufacturer support prompted the ASO to pull the plug on the class for 2025. The final edition saw just ten riders, which Copetti and many of his peers also attribute to the ASO tightening Quad eligibility criteria by mandating those in the class to have either raced a Dakar in the past five years or enter three World Rally-Raid Championship rounds; neither requirement exists for bikes.

With their class gone, most Quad riders have also switched to racing cars with particular focus on side-by-sides. Rodolfo Guillioli, who finished runner-up in the 2023 W2RC for Quads, has become an SSV co-driver while former Dakar winners Josef Macháček and Ignacio Casale currently compete in the SSV and Challenger categories, respectively. Hansen was also a Dakar Quad racer in the 2010s before becoming a navigator.

Copetti’s Polaris RZR is built by CAP 4 Racing, who has maintained a partnership with TH-Trucks since 2023. Domingo Román raced the CAP 4/TH-Trucks Polaris in the 2024 edition but retired after seven stages. A Polaris driven by Xavier de Soultrait won the race, marking the manufacturer’s first Dakar overall victory since 2017.

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