8000 miles of sand, stones and tarmac


Photos by ASO/Can-Am/MCH Photo/Dakar/Polaris


We were able to get behind the wheel of Rokas Baciuska’s X3 at a pre race test session. The South Racing built car is a work of art, that the Lithuanian driver drove to 3rd place in the modified class.

   We look forward to the start of every new year for one reason. The Dakar Rally kicks things off in the racing world early January. This year we were more excited than ever. Not only did we have a new American driver/Navigator to root for, we had the entire South Racing/Can-Am to follow as our memories of being with the team late last year are still fresh.

Price brought her stateside car builder Mitchell Allsup over to Saudi, to put an extra eye on things at the bivouac each night. Price ended up as the highest placing rookie SSV at the 2024 Dakar Rally.


  The new U.S. driver we watched was Sara price along side navigator Jeremy Gray. We have been following Sara’s career, since Erica Sacks and her formed the “Teryx Girls” in 2015 taking on a nine day rally in Africa then later King of the Hammers in 2015. We’ve known Gray just as long as he did a guest test rider day for us back in 2010 and is a winning navigator in the states for Mike McFayden. 

Austin Jones has two Dakar wins to his credit, both in Can-Am X3’s before 2024. This was not his year to win again but still managed a top 5 finish.

  Additionally, two time winner Austin Jones and Mitch Guthrie Jr. were back competing for another win in the 2024 Dakar Rally. The UTV class lost Seth Quintero to a Toyota truck ride, but we were still pulling for him. Unfortunately, Seth made a rookie mistake and tagged a big rock, ending his bid for victory before the halfway point.


In 2024, rally organizers limited the number of quad entries to 10. The only U.S. racer to compete in Dakar on a quad Pablo Copetti sat this year out. He is trying to find the funding to be back in a SXS in the future like most of the quad guys. Out of the 10 quads that entered only seven finished the rally. It’s interesting to note CF Moto had a factory effort this year, with their rider finishing the rally in fifth place but 49 hours down from the winner Manuel Andujar on his Raptor.


  It seams like there was more stages of sand traversing Saudi Arabia this year which treated Guthrie and Price well. Guthrie ended up finishing second in the Modified UTV (Challenger) class after holding a solid lead going into the last day of racing. A disappointing 28th place finish on that final day for Guthrie, allowed Christina Gutierrez to move her RedBull T3 max to the front of the order.

Price earned a hard fought 4 place in her very first attempt at the Dakar. It’s interesting to note, Price’s boyfriend Ricky Brabec (a Honda Talon racer In the U.S.) took the win in the bike category as well, bring home more hardware to the U.S. Furthermore, Price and Brabec both took stage 10 wins in their respective classes, which is definitely a first for American racers. Unfortunately Price suffered multi punctures in stage 11 and ran out of spares costing her a spot on the class overall podium for the rally.


We had one more American racing around in the Saudi desert this year in a four wheel vehicle. Jamie Campbell (Raceco-usa.com) was selected to race in a hydrogen powered UTV on Team HYSE. The cars powerplant was based off of a 1000cc, Kawasaki street bike engine and ran a hydrogen fuel cell developed in conjunction with engineers from Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Toyota.

Mitch Guthrie Jr (USA) is seen at the finish line of Rally Dakar 2024 in Yambu, Saudi Arabia on January 19, 2024 // Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool Photo


T3 Challenger (Modified UTV)

1. Cristina Gutierrez/Pablo Huete…T3 Max…Spain

2. Mitch Guthrie Jr/Kellon Walch…T3 Max…USA

3. Rokas Baciuska/Oriol Montijano…Can-Am…Lithuania 

4. Chaleco Lopez/Jaun Pablo Latrach…Can-Am…Chili 

5. Austin Jones/Gustavo Gugelmin…Can-Am…USA

Cristina Gutierrez (ESP) is seen at the finish line of Rally Dakar 2024 in Yambu, Saudi Arabia on January 19, 2024 // Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool Photo.
Xavier De Soultrait and Martin Bonnet helped Polaris end Can-Am’s domination in the UTV classes. According to Polaris, this is a RZR Pro R Factory, just like the Polaris Factory race team is using to win with in Baja.

T4 SSV (Stock width UTV)

1. Xavier De Soultrait/ Martin Bonnet…Pol…France

2. Jerome De Sadeleer/Michael Mette…Can-am…France

3. Yasir Seaidan/Adrien Metge…Can-Am…France

4. Sara Price/ Jeremy Gray…Can-Am…USA  

5. Joao Ferreira/Filipe Palmeiro…Can-Am…Portugal

M1000- Alternative Energy Vehicles

4th Place. Jamie Campbell/ Bruno Jacomy…OT3…USA

Quad Finishers

1. Manual Andujar…Yamaha Raptor…Argentina

2. Alexandre Giroud…Yamaha Raptor…France

3. Juraj Varga…Yamaha Raptor…Slovakia

4. Laisvydas Kancius…Yamaha Raptor…Lithuania

5. Antanas Kanopkinas…CF Moto Force 1000…Lithuania

6. Samuel Desbuisson…Yamaha Raptor…France

7. Alnoumesi Hani…Yamaha Raptor…Saudi Arabia 

You might also like

Comments are closed.