DakarWorld Rally-Raid Championship

Tibau Team forms first all-woman Spanish truck team

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Credit: Tibau Team

Tibau Team will enter the Baja España Aragón with a trio of countrywomen in the cockpit of one of their IVECO PowerStars. María Helena Tarruell Tibau will lead the first Spanish all-woman truck team as driver, while Jaqueline Ricci and Rebeca Aramburu will respectively serve as navigator and mechanic.

Tibau is the niece of team owner Rafael Tibau, a longtime Dakar Rally veteran who has driven both competition and assistance trucks at the race. 2023, where he retired in a truck, marked his seventh Dakar as a competitor but thirty-second at the event as a whole. He continued his support role for the 2024 edition as the team fielded three trucks for Manuel Borrero, Jordi Eseve, and Pep Sabaté.

Helena entered the adjacent Dakar Classic in 2021 as the co-driver of a Toyota HDJ80 Land Cruiser driven by Pere Barrios, a metallurgist and Tibau family friend. The duo finished tenth overall, seventh in the H1 category, and fourth in H1.5. While it is her only Dakar as a competitor to date (though she has continued as part of a crew with TH-Trucks Team), she hopes the new truck programme will eventually compete in the Dakar Rally proper.

Ricci has called the shots in both the FIA European Baja Cup, the larger FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies (predecessor to the current World Rally-Raid Championship), and even the premier Silk Way Rally in Russia for drivers like Enrique Reyes, Toto Ramos, Miguel Angel Valero, and David Spranger. In 2020, she finished runner-up in the Spanish Cross-Country Rally Championship’s side-by-side class, which she followed up with another second the following year in Bajas.

Aramburu is primarily a drift competitor. In 2018, she became the first woman to win an event in the Spanish Drifting Championship.

Should they make it to Dakar, the three would be the third women-only truck stable to enter the race. Véronique Jacquot, Géraldine Brucy, and Uta Baier finished twenty-ninth in class at the 2004 race. Two decades later, Anja Van Loon, Floor Maten, and Marije van Ettekoven were twelfth in their IVECO. The 2025 Dakar Classic will see Ecurie Frères d’Armes field a Renault Kerax for Sandra Riviere, Séverine Lehoux, and Aurore Vieillard.

The Baja Aragón, third round of the FIA World Baja Cup, is scheduled for 26–28 July.

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