Monday, May 27, 2024

Dakar-bound Sebastien Herbet heading to Rallye du Maroc

It was a long time coming, but Sébastien Herbet is going to the Dakar Rally. He received his acceptance letter from the ASO earlier in the week, locking him into the 2024 edition, and he will now prepare by entering the Rallye du Maroc in October.

Herbet last entered an internationally sanctioned rally at the 2021 Rallye du Maroc, when it was part of the World Rally-Raid Championship‘s predecessor Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, finishing thirtieth in the Rally2 category. He also ran the Andalucía Rally and placed fifth in the Enduro Cup, but neither of his efforts were enough to qualify for the 2022 Dakar Rally.

Afterwards, he decided to commit to making the 2024 race. In June, Herbet entered the Rallye Breslau, the largest European cross-country rally; despite early penalties, he scored three stage top tens and finished fourteenth overall in the Enduro class. While Breslau is in a different environment from the Dakar Rally’s deserts and is not prioritised by the ASO when selecting Dakar riders, it is typically used as additional practice for those heading there.

Besides rallies, Herbet mainly competes in enduro and sand races including the latter’s premier Enduropale du Touquet. He is good friends with Romain Dumontier, who is currently second in the W2RC’s Rally2 standings with wins at the Dakar Rally and Sonora Rally; Herbet will race at Morocco under the Dumontier Racing banner.

While already assured a spot at Dakar, Herbet can have his admission fees waived if he wins the Road to Dakar in Morocco. The Rallye du Maroc will take place on 13–18 October, and is often used as a final dress rehearsal for the Dakar Rally.

The 2024 Dakar Rally begins on 5 January.