Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Rodolfo Guillioli eyeing switch to co-driving for 2024

Rodolfo Guillioli is looking to race on four wheels in 2024, albeit in a slightly different vehicle from what he is used to. After finishing runner-up in the World Rally-Raid Championship for Quads, the Guatemalan plans to become a co-driver for an FIA class starting with the 2024 Dakar Rally and continuing the rest of the championship.

“As I finished the World Championship in 2023 with a runner-up position in the W2RC title, I am looking forward to continuing being part of the rally-raid family,” Guillioli told Cross-Country Rally News. “I did not plan of participating in the Dakar 2024 in quads, but I am looking to be part of the T2/T3/T4 categories as a co-driver, sharing my experience in navigation (two years of continuous navigation with the electronic tablet RB) and my mechanical skills.”

Guillioli is no stranger to being a driver or co-driver, doing so for South American rallies before switching to racing a quad including competing in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship (predecessor to the W2RC) and at the Dakar Rally when it ran through South America. He returned to the championship in 2021 only for it to be cut short at the season opener by injury, and has been a regular in the W2RC since that included a podium at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.

After skipping the 2023 Dakar Rally, he entered the remainder of the calendar. He finished fourth overall at Abu Dhabi before stringing together runner-up finishes among W2RC points-earning riders at each of the final three rounds. Including non-championship competitors, he was sixth in class at the Desafío Ruta 40 and third at the Rallye du Maroc. The Sonora Rally only had two Quad entrants as he and Laisvydas Kancius traded blows, the latter winning the race before going on to claim the championship by nine points over Guillioli.

It is not uncommon for bike and quad riders to switch to racing cars later in their careers. Toby Price, the runner-up in the RallyGP class, is also envisioning a switch to four wheels in the future.

The 2024 Dakar Rally begins on 5 January. With Guillioli’s absence, the Quad category will have ten riders headlined by Kancius.