Dakar

Nandu Jubany returning to Dakar Rally in 2025

2 Mins read
Credit: Nandu Jubany

Seven years after his début, Nandu Jubany will have another go at the Dakar Rally in 2025, albeit on four wheels when he races an MD Optimus for MD Rallye Sport. Marc Solà will serve as his navigator.

Jubany first raced the Dakar Rally in 2018 on a bike, finishing fifty-third overall. A former Spanish Enduro Junior Champion, he was originally supposed to race in 2017 before pushing it back a year due to a broken wrist he sustained while training. The effort checked off a major bucket list item of his, and he initially declared that he had no intention of returning to the Dakar in the future. However, the allure of racing a car was too great to resist.

“When I finished (in 2018), I promised myself that I wouldn’t go through that again, but you say that and three months later you’re already thinking about doing it again,” Jubany told SPORT at the 2025 Dakar Rally presentation on Saturday. “I don’t know what it is about the Dakar, but it gets you hooked. My dream was to do it on a motorcycle because I’m a biker, but I really racing in general and driving a car. When we see images of the Dakar on television, it makes all the fans want to go. We all want to go and be there. […] I don’t know what the Dakar gives you, some kind of pill, but when you’ve done it once, you always want to come back.”

Initially, Jubany considered racing in the SSV category before Dakar veteran and enduro champion Josep Vila i Roca introduced him to MD Sport. Instead, he will race an Optimus in the T1.2 subcategory.

Solà, who also made the jump from bikes to cars, finished eleventh in SSV at the 2024 Dakar as the co-driver for Ricardo Ramilo. Jubany also has the support of friends and Dakar competitors like two-time winner Nani Roma, Roma’s wife Rosa Romero Font, and Gerard Farrés; Roma, who won the 2004 race on a bike, helped Jubany train for the 2018 edition.

To prepare for Dakar, Jubany plans to race the Rallye du Maroc on 5–11 October. If this and Dakar go well, he hopes to also take part in the 2025 BP Ultimate Rally-Raid in Portugal followed by that year’s Rallye du Maroc for another stab at Dakar in 2026.

Outside of racing, Jubany is a chef who runs Restaurant Can Jubany in Calldetendes, Catalonia. He received a Michelin Star in 1998.

The 2025 Dakar Rally runs on 3–17 January.

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