Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Lucas Del Rio skipping 2024 Dakar Rally for personal reasons

Lucas del Río will not run the Dakar Rally in 2024 after a family concern arose with just two months until the race begins. His navigator Bruno Jacomy has been allowed to search for a new team and driver for the event.

“Unexpectedly, we have been left without Dakar as a team with Lucas this year,” Jacomy told Cross-Country Rally News. “It’s so sad, but we are both strong and we think very positively about what’s left of the season and the next year. This situation personally, I cannot handle and leaves me free for this race. Thankfully, my driver gives me the possibility of joining another crew, for which I am infinitely grateful.”

Del Río moved up to T3 for the 2023 Dakar Rally alongside Jacomy after finishing thirty-sixth in T4 in 2022; he had to bow out of his Dakar début’s contention with a mechanical issue but was allowed to finish the event. An actor in New York by trade, del Río had started rally in 2020 and qualified for Dakar by winning the Road to Dakar at the 2021 Rallye du Maroc.

Driving a Can-Am Maverick XRS from South Racing with Jacomy by his side, del Río suffered an engine failure on the first stage to knock him out of the overall. Like the previous year, his team was able to repair the engine and continue the rally, albeit with severe time penalties to keep him at the bottom of the leaderboard.

Due to the early retirement, his final classification of thirty-eighth and last in T3 does not properly reflect his daily pace. Del Río scored a top ten a day after his shortened Stage #1, which he improved upon with a ninth in Stage #10 and eighth the day after. If not for the time penalties, accumulating over 120 hours total with three more DNFs, his final time of 144:23:26 would have been a 23:53:06 for twenty-second in T3.

In October, del Río and Jacomy returned to the World Rally-Raid Championship for the season-ending Rallye du Maroc. The duo finished ninth in T3 with a best stage run of ninth in Stages #3 and #4.

Before joining forces with del Río, Jacomy finished seventh in T3 at the 2022 Dakar Rally with Thomas Bell. Bell has since moved up to T1. Jacomy ran his first rallies in 2021, and he and del Río went on to race in the latter’s home country of Chile.

The 2024 Dakar Rally kicks off on 5 January.