DAKAR RALLY 2023
FOLLOW CAN-AM MAVERICK RACERS AND DAKAR RALLY UPDATES HERE DEC.31, 2022–JAN.15, 2023
We Are Teaming Up With Red Bull to Soar to New Heights
The racing world heads back to Saudi Arabia for the 2023 Dakar Rally! From December 31 to January 15, our racers will set out on a 4,750 kilometers journey from Ha’al to Jaddah. They will compete against top drivers in the world’s toughest race to launch the new season of the World Rally-Raid Championship!
For the 2023 Dakar Rally, Can-Am has teamed up with Red Bull to push our win streak to six. We’ll have a team factory trailer with Red Bull and Can-Am, a driver suit, and a car wrap all sporting both colors. With all that, our racers will look flyer than ever driving our car with Red Bull’s WOW factor.
- AJ Jones
- Seth Quintero
- Chaleco Lopez
- Molly Taylor
- Rokas Baciuska
- Gerard Farres
- Christina Gutierrez
Dakar is the toughest race in the world. In about 14 days, racers cover over 9,000 km (5,500 miles) of terrain of desert and dunes. The racers have a lot to overcome when it comes to the race, but we wanted to dive into what goes into supporting a team of racers in the middle of the desert. We met up with Scott Abraham, team principal of South Racing, to give us all the details.
Can-Am: Scott, you’re the person behind the magic at South Racing. Some people would say that you’re the captain of the ship, the ultimate cat herded — tell us exactly what it is you do.
Scott: Bringing unique people together to join a community of crazy people who just do it better and create a race world. It is no longer just racing; our team of 180 people from 28 nations moving in the same direction is a challenge, but to do what we do, you need special people and the occasional BBQ.
How much time do you spend planning and preparing for Dakar, and what goes into building a traveling city in the desert?
Scott: The Dakar starts the day the previous edition finishes and ramps up from June with preparation peaking from September through December. On the spare-parts side, we place our order for Dakar parts in February and start any technical developments for the next version of the Dakar-winning Can-Am Maverick X3. At the same time, the logistics team is working with the information available to manage flights, hotels, entries and a lot of clothing. We will have around 80 vehicles, including the Can-Am Maverick X3, for racing that move day to day, and finally the bivouac, where the team’s footprint is more than 7,500 m² (67,500 ft²), where we are completely self-sufficient..
Give us a breakdown of what a day during the Dakar Rally is like.
Scott: Wake up in the camper, take a shower, grab a coffee, pancakes from Jesse Jones (AJ Jones’s father), stop for the second cup of coffee at Energylandia, see the team, start piecing together what happened when I was asleep, go talk to the car chiefs and then see the crews off. Jump into a service vehicle and drive between 500 km and 1,000 km a day while trying to follow the race online. Once I get to the bivouac, I check everything in the way that it should be set up, grab another coffee in our expandable hospitality unit and follow the rest of the race. Once the drivers get into the bivouac, I get a feeling for their day, grab dinner from our team chefs and then, if there’s time, join the UNO world championships. Then I head off to the camper, call my wife and try get some sleep.
How many people does it take to ensure success and smooth sailing at Dakar?
Scott: It takes a lot of passionate people. For Dakar 2023, we are close to 180 people who take care of every imaginable task from sporting aspects, vehicle maintenance, catering, tires, truck drivers, daily media, physiotherapists, washing, bivouac, fleet — it is endless.
If you could guess, how many spare parts do you need to have onsite during the Rally?
Scott: It is not a guess; we work closely with BRP for 10 months to be sure that we have the parts that every Can-Am Maverick X3 that races Dakar might need. This is a huge challenge as we have 26 Can-Am Maverick X3 units in the team and around 40 external South Racing-built Can-Am units. We carry around US$5 million of inventory including more than 1,500 tires. We have a team of four who manage the inventory on our own intranet that links all team trucks on Dakar.
We imagine it’s a lot of stress a lot of the time; what does down time look like? What’s something you look forward to during the Rally?
Scott: It is a mindset and a lot of hard work; we do not get a lot of downtime during the Dakar, but it is the small things that make the difference, from the smile on someone’s face when they are telling you about their day to playing a game of UNO. For sure, the team BBQ is a fun event and a little way to give back to the team.
Do you have any memorable moments from Dakars past that really stand out?
Scott: Dakar is about the experience that you cannot repeat. On my first Dakar in 2004, when walking into admin checks, I was completely nervous, and the experienced person next to me said, “Don’t worry, I am too". This kicked off a 21-day adventure through North Africa that lives with me until this day. Dakar moved to South America; there were more than two million people in the streets of Buenos Aires and a welcome received in every city along the route. Regarding the fifth Dakar win, it takes a lot for me to be happy about, but this one proved, as a team and personally, that we had arrived.
We Win Again!
Can-Am Takes First Place for the Sixth Straight Year at Dakar Rally!
We make it look easy, but it’s not! Our drivers raced right to the top at Dakar Rally, the world’s most grueling race. Relive some of the highlights and give a warm winners’ welcome to our team.
Times T3 category
1. Austin jones (USA) : 51H 55' 53''
2. Seth Quintero (USA) : 52H 47' 58''
4. Cristina Gutierrez (ESP) : 54H 52' 13''
5. Francesco Lopez (CHL) : 54H 55' 41''
Times T4 category
2. Rokas Baciuška (LTH) : 53H 26' 58''
5. Gerard Farres (ESP) : 54H 59' 32''
12. Molly Taylor (AUS) : 59h 38' 36''