Dakar Series – Afriquia Merzouga Rally 15-20 Aprile
Under the high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco
Having won the Dakar last January in the “Side-by-Side” category with Reinaldo Varela, the canadian constructor Can-Am, in collaboration with the preparer South Racing, is back on the tracks at the Afriquia Merzouga Rally, from 15th to 20th April. The Brazilian will be present, just like four other drivers, including football manager of the FC Porto (and winner of the Europa League) André Villas-Boas – who discovered the rally-raid discipline on the last Dakar – and the experienced Ruben Faria.
* Five drivers will make up the “South Racing Can-Am Team” contingent on the Merzouga rally.
* André Villas-Boas, the former manager of Chelsea and Tottenham, who took part in the last Dakar, is among the participants.
* The Afriquia Merzouga rally aims to be a springboard for taking part in the Dakar: the victors in each category (bike, quad and SxS) will win their place for next January.
He has already left his mark in the sport’s history: last January, Brazilian Reinaldo Varela became the first winner of the Dakar in a “Side-by-Side”, a new category formed by these speedy vehicles that are a mix between quad and buggy.
Less than four months later, the driver is ready to duke it out again on the Afriquia Merzouga Rally behind the wheel of the same vehicle, a Maverick X3.
The Dakar winner will not be alone in representing Can-Am during the race in morocco, which allows riders and drivers to toughen up, improve performance or simply gain an introduction to the rally-raid discipline. Indeed, he will be accompanied by Portugal’s André Villas-Boas. The former manager of Chelsea and Tottenham (football) discovered the discipline during the last Dakar. Although he was forced to withdraw on the 4th stage, André Villas-Boas is hoping to improve his driving in the desert.
Ruben Faria was his co-pilot on the Dakar and will also be behind the wheel of a Maverick X3. Also Portuguese, he was a long-standing member of the elite of rally-raid bikers, taking part in the Dakar nine times, with a podium finish (3rd) in 2013.
The team will also be counting on American Casey Currie. The 35-year old driver is very popular in the USA, is an automobile all-rounder and is the brand’s figurehead in the Side-by-Side market in North America. Finally, Marcin Lukaszewski, will be the fifth driver. The Polish competitor put in a noteworthy performance on the Hungarian Baja, in 2016.
This unprecedented line-up will further enhance a field that already contains many excellent drivers, many of whom are regulars on the event. The quickest among them will win his registration for the Dakar next January.