Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Dakar Rally by RaBe
The Excite Rallye Raid Team has announced its driver and equipment line up for 2012 and also for the 2013 Dakar Rally: the team will be running 3 vehicles specially commissioned from RaBe Race Cars, driven by Martin Rowe, John Hardy and Andrew Coley.
Poole-based Excite Rallye Raid is the only professional, all-British Dakar Rally team to beentering the gruelling Dakar Rally in 2013.
Business Manager David Jones says: "We've been working on this project for a long time; we haven't disappeared, but we have had to change our approach due to the economic climate everyone is working in. We looked at the level of media coverage for rally raid events, and recognised that if we wanted to secure the necessary backing, we first needed to secure the coverage, across all forms of media - and with some really unique ideas, we're confident we've now done that.
We were approached by a manufacturer, RaBe Race Cars, whose staff have been around the sport for a long time. They've been monitoring our progress for a couple of years and on seeing our professional approach, they asked if we could work together. We have goals that we would like to achieve which we can each assist the other with, so we have now set our sights a bit higher. Of course, this fits perfectly with our other goal of achieving the right level of financial backing."
Mike Jones of RaBe Race Cars says: "RaBe Race Cars has years of off-road motorsport experience at every level, from club to International works teams. In fact we have a family motorsport tree that is celebrating its 100th Anniversary of continuous motorsport involvement in 2012. The last 15 years have been devoted to Desert racing and achieving not just a finish but top honours at Dakar. Little known outside of the bivouac of Dakar, we have built cars for many other teams who race under their own colours and logos.
The road to developing a serious car has been as tough as the race itself. After 4 years of testing and development, we now have a car that can stand up against any of its peers. The five prototypes have already competed at three different Dakars, achieving a mechanical finish reliability rate of 100%. With this reliability and the knowledge gained from testing in Morocco, we will be able to focus on the fine tuning of the D4_WN5 production version to leap into the world rally raid spotlight. This is a very serious Dakar car, and we are very pleased to combine our skills with the Excite Rally Raid Team for a serious attempt at Dakar.
The Excite team's preparations and training program are ongoing at the present time and the next significant target is to participate in several off-road rallies in 2012 to help with the car's development and to build up time in the new vehicle before taking on the Dakar Rally in 2013.
Source: Land Rover press