Saturday, March 2, 2024

Andre Thewessen returning to Dakar Rally in 2024

André Thewessen will enter his second career Dakar Rally in 2024, once again driving a Can-Am Maverick X3 in the T4 category. Dmytro Tsyro will serve as co-driver.

Thewessen made his Dakar Rally début in 2022 with Stijn Bastings as his navigator in the Can-Am T4. Despite rolling his SSV thrice due to a collision with another competitor in Stage #11, he was able to reach the finish in thirty-seventh overall.

To prepare for the start, he had raced cross-country events such as the Tunisia Desert Challenge, Baja Portalegre 500, and Andalucía Rally. Andalucía was a leg on the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies (the predecessor to the World Rally-Raid Championship), and he finished thirteenth in T4 to earn a point towards the standings.

His interest in Dakar was piqued after attending the race when it took place in South America. He eventually became a photographer for the race before sponsoring various rally raid teams through his air conditioning and refrigeration company ATS Koudetechniek. The ATS name is also used for his team ATS Rally.

The team did not enter the 2023 Dakar Rally to focus on building a more cohesive programme for 2024. As such, Thewessen’s schedule consisted of amateur races such as the Morocco Desert Challenge and all three rallies overseen by RBI Sport—the Fenix Rally, Rallye Breslau, and Balkan Offroad Rallye. After the Fenix Rally, he finished twenty-first in SSV at Morocco and seventeenth in Breslau. The Balkan Offroad Rallye, which concluded last weekend, ended with another seventeenth among SSVs.

Tsyro was the navigator for Anja Van Loon‘s T3 at the 2023 Dakar Rally, where she finished fourteenth in class.

The 2024 Dakar Rally begins on 5 January.