Britains all professional Dakar Rally Team is back on track


August 6, 2013 By Mike Lee
Last updated on July 27, 2015

Britains all professional Dakar Rally Team is back on track

Posted on 23 September 2011

Excite Rallye Raid Team D4 WN5 EDrivers Andrew Coley and Martin Rowe

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. (Driver biographies are detailed below in Editor’s notes).

Poole-based Excite Rallye Raid is the only professional, all-British Dakar Rally team to beentering the gruelling Dakar Rally in 2013.

In fact, Excite Rallye Raid Team is the first professional, all-British team to ever set itssights on the Dakar Rally.

The team combines world class drivers with an experienced management, marketing and support crew, working with the tough and reliable RaBe Race Cars vehicle to fly the flag for Great Britain in the spirit of all the great British explorers and adventurers from history.

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 partnership with the Excite Rally Raid Team is part of our desire to push our skills to the top of our sport.

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 rally team bring all the extra pieces together to help us move forward and have a serious all-British attempt at a podium finish and ultimately a world championship crown. We very much like the skills that the Excite team are bringing from a wide range of other motorsports and all the key members of the combined effort bring something very unique to the wider team. The 2012 season will be a great year for the Excite rally team and UK motorsport fans will see a lot more of a massive global sport that they all know and love…. the Dakar Rally.”

Team Principal and Driver John Hardy says: “This is the best chance an independent manufacturer team has had to perform at the top level in a long time. We hope that we may be able to work towards a very good result on the Dakar in 2013 and then, next time around, why not shoot for overall honours?! We have always intended, and still intend, to give it our very best shot!”

The Excite team’s preparations and training programme 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.

Excite Rallye Raid is currently in partnership talks with several global brands, but the team would love to be backed by a British sponsor to round off the all-British package.

All in all, it’s a very exciting time for Team Excite!