Welcome to the Can-Am family! Tell us a little about yourself for those who may not be familiar with you and your racing career.
Cristina: Thanks! My name is Cristina Gutiérrez, I’m 31 years old and I live in Spain. I started driving a small motorcycle at the age of four since my father was a great motor fan. At the age of six, I started asking my father for the car, and that’s when I started driving on my own since the pedals of that car could be raised to the point where I could touch them.
From there began my infatuation with the motorsports world. It was not until the age of 18 that I started competing in off-road races because in Spain, you need a driver’s license and you cannot get it until you are 18 years old. As a result of that start, I always compete in off-road events; I have won several Spanish championships, and I started to compete in the world championship. I did gravel rally tests at the age of 25, and I competed in my first Dakar since then until 2023, which will be my seventh consecutive Dakar, the third with Red Bull.
It has been an exciting 12 months for you. Congratulations on your third place in the 2022 Dakar rally! What have you been up to since then?
Cristina: I have been competing throughout the year; world cross-country championship where we finished third overall in T3, and I also competed in Extreme E, where we were able to win the championship for Lewis Hamilton’s team together with Sebastian Loeb.
You made history in 2021 by being the second woman to win a stage of the Dakar Rally. Congratulations! With more and more women entering the world of off-road racing, what advice would you give women looking to get behind the wheel?
Cristina: I would tell them not to be afraid to do the things that make them happy. Don’t listen to comments from people who are not part of their life, and above all, do what you love, since today, it is much more normal to see women in the powersports world and racing. I encourage everyone to fight for what motivates them without worrying about the final destination, and enjoy the day to day, because if you do this, life probably has some nice surprises in store for you during the process.
This will be your first year racing a Can-Am Maverick X3. How has training been going so far? What has surprised you with the Can-Am Maverick X3 platform?
Cristina: I am very surprised with the performance that the Can-Am Maverick X3 offers. We spent 10 days testing in Dubai, and I was surprised by the power it has on technical terrain and how well it moves on the dunes. In addition, I have raced against Can-Ams in previous races and I knew the toughness and reliability of the vehicles. It’s always something that stood out to me about Can-Am, and that is something rather important and fundamental when it comes to the Dakar Rally.