Friday, July 19, 2024

Barbora Holicka taking a quack at 2024 Dakar Classic

The Citroën 2CV might be known as a post-war “umbrella on wheels” designed to help French farmers motorise their transport, but Barbora Holická will use it for a slightly more daunting task next January when she brings a 1979 model to the Dakar Rally to compete in the Dakar Classic. The project is nicknamed “Duckar“, a portmanteau of “duck” and “Dakar” as the programme will support raising ducks at Safari Park Dvůr Králové, and is intended to celebrate the 2CV’s seventy-fifth anniversary.

The 36-year-old competes in the Czech rally championship, almost exclusively in a Citroën DS3 R1 since 2014. She won the women’s title in 2016 and 2017, while winning the latter’s Class 9 title. In 2018, she received the Eliška Junková Award as the best female competitor in Czech motorsport.

In April, Holická piloted the 2CV in the Rallye Praha Revival.

“When I want to take on the biggest challenge of my racing career, it has to be a Citroën and what else but a 2CV,” Holická proclaimed. “We want to prove that even the extremely demanding terrain of the Dakar tracks can be handled with this iconic car. If it can drive sixty on a plowed field, it can also handle the Dakar tracks.”

The 2CV is one of eighteen Citroëns eligible to race the Dakar Classic as of 2023. Three teams fielded a Citroën in the 2023 edition, with Mathieu Abrial and his father François Abrial respectively finishing forty-sixth and fifty-second overall in Visas while Cornelis Lambert Kamp was seventy-sixth in a Citroën CX.

A variant of the 2CV dubbed the Safari was built between 1958 and 1971, featuring a twin-engine layout. While only 694 Safaris were produced, a 1963 2CV Safari ran the Dakar Rally in 2007 with Georges, Philippe, and Gilles Marques, but retired after four stages with a rear suspension failure.