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Polaris Off Road Partners With Sebastien Loeb Racing For 2024 Dakar Rally

Polaris Off Road Partners With Sebastien Loeb Racing For 2024 Dakar Rally

Last week, on January 5, 2024, the 46th Edition of the Dakar Rally commenced in Saudi Arabia, marking a thrilling start to the off-road adventure. Polaris Off Road has exciting news to share, as it proudly announces its collaboration with Sebastien Loeb Racing (SLR). In this partnership, SLR drivers Xavier de Soultrait and Florent Vayssade will be competing in the SSV T4 category, steering Polaris’ formidable RZR Pro R Factory race machines. With the robust support of Polaris engineering, the SLR team is well-prepared to take on the challenging terrains of Dakar, where both human skill and machine performance will be tested to their limits. Prepare for an exhilarating journey as Polaris Off Road and SLR join forces to conquer the relentless Dakar Rally!

Built on the groundbreaking RZR Pro R platform, the recently revealed RZR Pro R Factory emerged earlier this year as the flagship for the Polaris Factory Racing team, establishing a new standard in the UTV industry. With its race-ready prowess in power, durability, and maneuverability, this vehicle has become a trailblazer. Throughout the 2023 season, both the vehicle and the team showcased their dominance by outperforming rivals and clinching the prestigious SCORE Pro UTV Open Class Championship. Victories at each of the four SCORE events – San Felipe 250, Baja 400, Baja 500, and Baja 1000 – solidified their position at the top. Now, following a triumphant debut season in the Baja sands, Polaris is gearing up to take the RZR Pro R Factory to Dakar, considered by many as the most challenging off-road race on the planet. Get ready for the next chapter in the RZR Pro R Factory’s off-road saga as it faces the ultimate test at Dakar!

 

Leveraging a robust yet lightweight chassis designed in compliance with FIA T4 Class standards, a race-tuned ProStar Fury 2.0L engine, and advanced FOX® 3.0 Live Valve X2 Internal Bypass shocks, the two SLR RZR Pro R Factory vehicles stand as formidable contenders, equipped to endure the challenges of the arduous 5,000-mile event. Notably, the chassis boasts integrated storage for spare parts and tools, a critical feature considering the absence of a pit crew, requiring drivers to perform their own repairs while navigating the demanding course.

International rally racing introduces unique challenges for both drivers and vehicles, necessitating careful consideration and modifications by the Polaris engineering team for the existing RZR Pro R Factory. Prioritizing weight to meet Dakar’s minimum requirements, the team also focused on enhancing visibility and sightlines. In a departure from the RZR Pro Factory vehicles used in the 2023 SCORE series, these machines now feature full, heated glass windshields, wipers, a washer, and a blower kit. Recognizing the significance of serviceability in rally racing, where drivers must handle their own repairs, the engineering team has integrated added storage capacity for tools and spare parts.

Beyond SLR fielding two RZR Pro R Factory machines, the Xtremplus team, led by Shinsuke Umeda (the 2023 T4 vice-champions in the W2RC World Rally-Raid Championship), alongside Michele Cinotto and Jorge Wagernfuhr, will also navigate the event with race-modified RZR Pro Rs. Additionally, the TH-Trucks Team, comprising Enrico Gaspari, Daniel González Reina, and Domingo Román Pardos, will join the two-week event in RZR Pro Rs. The stage is set for an exhilarating display of off-road prowess and endurance. 

The Polaris-backed teams will tackle the world’s toughest race beginning January 5, 2024, in AlUla and finishing January 19, 2024, in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.

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