New Red Bull Can-Am Factory Team Ready For Dakar
The 2023 desert racing season is about to begin, and there's a new factory team headed to Saudi Arabia for the Dakar Rally. The just-announced Red Bull Can-Am Factory Team will challenge the Dakar this year in both the T3 and T4 categories, with five drivers this year.
The drivers are all familiar names, if you follow UTV racing: Seth Quintero, AJ Jones, Cristina Gutierrez and Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez make up the T3 team. Rokas Baciuška will drive in T4.
Every one of these drivers has winning experience at international rally raid, making this team a threat from the very start of this year's Dakar race. They already have plenty of podiums between them, and no doubt they'll add to that total, while also posing a threat for any podium spot at the end of the rally.
Along with the new factory team, the sponsors also reconfirmed their support for the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team, and announced they're not just looking for new drivers. The Junior Team is also looking for support staff, even engineers, to help shape the next generation of UTV racing talent.
See more details in Can-Am's press release below:
Can-Am and Red Bull Join Forces to Transform the Future of Off-Road Racing
New 2023 Red Bull Can-Am Factory Team and Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team will take racing to the next level
Valcourt, Quebec, December 13, 2022 – BRP Inc. (TSX:DOO; NASDAQ:DOOO) is thrilled to announce that Can-Am and Red Bull have teamed up to revolutionize the world of off-road racing by creating the Red Bull Can-Am Factory Team composed of an impressive lineup of drivers that have dominated global FIA racing events over the past several years. Through this multi-year collaboration, both brands also aim to ensure the evolution of the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team, a program designed to discover, develop, and grow the next generation of off-road racers.
"We are very excited about this collaboration with Red Bull. Both of our brands share a common passion and desire to push further, work harder, break boundaries and make the impossible possible," said Anne-Marie LaBerge, Chief Marketing Officer at BRP. "We can't wait to watch this new Red Bull Can-Am Factory Team take off and conquer everything that lies ahead of them on and off the race course, leading the way for future generations of racers from around the world."
The first race that the new Red Bull Can-Am Factory Racing Team will contest is the 2023 Dakar Rally, in the T3 and T4 vehicles classes. The new roster is composed of a 'dream team' of race winning drivers:
T3 Driver Lineup
- Seth Quintero, 20, USA, single Dakar stage winning record holder - 11 wins
- AJ Jones, 26, USA, 2022 T4 Dakar Champion, 2021 World Rally Raid T4 Champion
- Cristina Gutierrez, 31, Spain, 2022 Dakar T3 third place finisher and only woman in history to win a UTV stage at the Dakar Rally, 2021 World Rally Raid T3 Champion
- Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez, 47, Chile, three-time Dakar UTV Champion, 2022 World Rally Raid T3 Champion
T4 Driver Lineup
- Rokas Baciuška, 23, Lithuania, 2022 Rallye du Maroc winner, 2022 World Rally Raid T4 Champion
These five drivers will look to take their performance to the next level in the 2023 Can-Am Maverick X3 as they tackle the grueling 15-day, 5,000 km Dakar Rally. The team will contest the top levels of off-road racing globally, including the World Rally Raid Series and key North American races. The platform of the team and its drivers will also mentor the up-and-coming athletes of the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team.
"We couldn't be happier with our driver lineup for the 2023 Dakar Rally. I feel we have a good opportunity to win this race, especially with the Dakar-winning proven platform of the Can-Am Maverick X3," said Scott Abraham, Team Principal of South Racing and Red Bull Can-Am Factory Team. "The foundation of what we are building today with this new team and the evolution of the junior team program will help push the next generation of racers to new heights, and South Racing is thrilled to be able to lead this."
Through cooperation with Can-Am and South Racing, the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team program will serve to create a career roadmap for young racers to follow their goals and dreams to the Dakar Rally. It will identify up and coming talent and help to support their racing on regional and national levels, before taking them up to the international stage. Throughout this process, young racers will learn mentoring and obtain guidance from seasoned professional racers. The Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team isn't just limited to racers, it is also looking to identify the future talents in engineering, mechanics, and marketing that can play pivotal roles in shaping the future of the racing industry.