Friday, July 19, 2024

BBR Motorsport partnering with MCE-5

BBR Motorsport fields Can-Ams in the World Rally-Raid Championship, but will now add an MCE-5 T3M. During the 2024 Dakar Rally presentation at Château de Lastours in France, the team revealed a new partnership with MCE-5 Development that will begin at the Rallye du Maroc on 13–18 October. The Moroccan rally is frequently used as a final test before the Dakar Rally.

The French outfit, operating under the full name Team BBR / Pole Position 77 (the latter an automotive parts store in Vert-Saint-Denis), runs Can-Am Mavericks in the W2RC’s T3 and T4 classes. At the 2023 season-opening Dakar Rally, the team fielded T3 cars for Claude Fournier and husband and wife Enio and Pâmela Bozzano, along with a T4 for Eric Abel. Fournier finished eighteenth overall whereas Pâmela was thirty-second and Enio two spots back, while Abel placed thirteenth in T4.

Although in his seventies, making him the oldest male driver in the championship, Fournier has run all three W2RC rounds so far in 2023 and was the lone BBR driver at the two post-Dakar races. He finished ninth in T3 at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and eleventh at the Sonora Rally.

While Fournier was competing at Sonora, the team fielded nine Can-Ams at the concurrent Morocco Desert Challenge. Gunter Hinkelmann led the group by finishing fourth overall in the SSV class ahead of Davy Huguet (thirteenth), Rodrigo Varela (sixteenth), Anthony Erard (thirty-ninth), Ulrich Caradot (fifty-first), Stéphane Cuttat (fifty-second), and Franck Thomas (fifty-ninth); Christophe Ghidinelli and Frédéric Murat retired from the event.

MCE-5’s T3M was designed by Cyrille Constensou, who previously developed the Dakar Rally-winning Peugeot 3008 and Volkswagen Touareg. The company specialises in environmentally friendly powertrain technology and has an alliance with Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team; through this deal, Mitch Guthrie races a T3M in the W2RC’s T3 category, where he won the Sonora Rally. Like BBR, Red Bull is still primarily a Can-Am team despite the T3M.

Besides BBR and Guthrie, MCE-5 will also supply two T3Ms for Nicolás Cavigliasso and Gabriel Rodríguez at the next W2RC round in Argentina.