Monday, May 27, 2024

TH-Trucks, CAP 4 Racing join forces for Polaris Dakar 2024 project

TH-Trucks Rally Team and CAP 4 Racing plan to build five Polaris RZR Pro R cars that will compete in the Dakar Rally‘s T4 category in 2024. The joint venture made its racing début at last week’s Baja España Aragón with Domingo Román driving the #634 and Óscar Bravo as navigator.

As their name suggests, TH-Trucks mainly specialises in fielding trucks. In the 2023 Dakar Rally, the team brought a pair of Scania trucks for Rafael Tibau Maynou and Alberto Herrero that raced in the T5 category; they also prepared Toyota Land Cruisers that raced in the Dakar Classic, with Dirk van Rompuy being the highest overall finisher there in sixth. CAP 4 Racing oversaw the EBRO electric car project that ran Dakar in 2022 and has designed cars capable of competing in the T3.U class for prototype electric SSVs.

Although Roman did not complete the Baja Aragon, the project found the car’s performance satisfactory, describing it as displaying “excellent results in the first kilometres of the race” while Roman and Bravo were “extremely satisfied with the easy driving and quick adaptation” to driving it. Herrero, who drove his truck in Aragon, tested the car on Monday.

The car is an upgraded 2022 Polaris RZR Pro R. It features a redesigned chassis, is lighter than the standard model by 100 kilograms, and boasts a larger fuel tank. The changes also decrease the likelihood of the vehicle rolling. Donerre Suspension, Braid Wheels, Berpellet, and OMFB IBERTEC are among the companies involved with the project.

The effort has not revealed who else will race the car at Dakar.

The T4 category for production SSVs has typically been dominated by Can-Am Mavericks, which won the inaugural World Rally-Raid Championship in 2022 and the Dakar Rally’s SSV class every year since 2018. Polaris was the Dakar SSV winner in 2017, while Florent Vayssade was the only RZR Pro R to finish top ten in class at the 2023 edition in tenth; the manufacturer last appeared on a podium with Patrice Garrouste and Claude Fournier finishing second and third in 2018.

The 2024 Dakar Rally begins on 5 January.