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Cristina Gutierrez

This year's race marked Cristina's first competition as a Can-Am driver, and she made us proud finishing 4th overall in the T3 class!
The newest member to the Red Bull Can-Am Factory Team, Cristina Gutiérrez, is no stranger to the Dakar Rally. She not only took third place in the T3 class at the 2022 edition, but she also is the second woman ever to win a stage at the Dakar Rally. We caught up with Cristina in Lanzarote, Spain, where she has been working hard on Dakar Rally prep mentally and physically. 

 

Can-Am: How did you get into racing? And specifically off-road racing? 
 

Cristina: I really got into the world of racing thanks to some friends of my parents who competed off-road, and I wanted to try it myself. They were the ones who helped me along the way and helped me get me to where I am now.

 


 

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. 
 

Joining the Red Bull Can-Am Factory Team, and with the history of success with Can-Am, I am very happy about the move to Can-Am! 

                                                                                                  Cristina Gutierrez

 

This Dakar Rally, you will be up against your teammates AJ Jones, Chaleco López and Seth Quintero. How have you been adjusting knowing that the field is getting more and more competitive and everyone will be racing for the Red Bull Can-Am Factory Team? 

Cristina: I think it is very good that Can-Am has managed to bring together the best drivers in the discipline, because that means that right now, it is the car that every driver wants to get into. I think it’s positive to have the opportunity to compete alongside these great riders as you can learn a lot from them. In addition, we are pilots with very different driving profiles, and it will be seen during our run at the Dakar Rally. I think it will be a really exciting rally to follow along this year.

 

What is your race preparation routine like?

Cristina: A good diet, a healthy day to day, taking care of mind and body equally. And since we are so close to the holidays, I enjoy time with family and friends because it is the only time of the year where we all get together. This helps me arrive at Dakar feeling the most prepared.  
 

What has been your most memorable racing experience and why was it so memorable? 

Cristina: I think winning the 2021 cross-country world championship has been my best moment in racing. I ended up winning it after one of the World Cup events where I broke three vertebrae, and I feared that my racing career may have been over. It happened to me at the best sporting moment of my career, and I was quite afraid of not being able to continue competing. At that time, my network helped me get ahead and start a recovery of more than six hours a day to be able to be in the next race. After three months, I continued competing without any discomfort, and it was something important for me because I was able to continue competing at the highest level throughout the year and ended up winning the World Cup that year, which is something I will never forget.

 

When you are not competing, what do you usually do? 

Cristina: I love going to the beach, the mountains and practicing outdoor sports, enjoying what nature offers us. I love skiing, traveling and hiking in the mountains with friends; going to the movies or sharing dinners with them. 
 

While you’re competing, do you listen to music? If so, what are your favorite songs? 

Cristina: Unfortunately, we are not allowed any type of mp3 system during the race. The only time where we can listen to music is outside the stage, and I like to listen to chill music. The team’s DJ is Seth Quintero without hesitation, and we always ask him to put something on! He has good taste in music. 

 

Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today, and best of luck at the 2023 Dakar Rally! 

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