Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Lack of sponsorship forces Ahmed Alkuwari’s 2024 Dakar Rally withdrawal

Funding woes have forced Ahmed Alkuwari Fahad to drop his plans of running the 2024 Dakar Rally. It would have been his fifth time racing the event, doing so in the Challenger (formerly T3) class.

“Not all plans come together,” wrote Alkuwari. “I am saddened to say I will not be racing the 2024 Dakar due to the lack of sponsorship.”

Alkuwari was due to compete for X-raid Team in a YXZ1000R Turbo Prototype once again. He finished seventeenth overall in T3 at the 2023 edition; with Manuel Lucchese as his co-driver, he notched two top-ten stage finishes with a best run of seventh in the fourteenth and final leg. He was the third-highest X-raid Yamaha in the final classification behhind Ignacio Casale and (tenth) and Ricardo Porém (twelfth).

Even if he was able to race the 2024 Dakar, Alkuwari would not have had Lucchese by his side. Lucchese planned to race on a bike, a discipline where he and Alkuwari had initially befriended each other, but an injury he sustained in April forced him to back out.

An engineer and former member of the Qatari national shooting team alongside five-time Dakar champion Nasser Al-Attiyah, Alkuwari switched to racing side-by-side vehicles in 2018. After running that year’s Rallye du Maroc, he made his Dakar Rally début in 2019 where he retired after nine stages.

The 2024 Dakar Rally begins on 5 January.