Excite-ing time ahead with Dakar challenge

The team is very, very serious about winning the Dakar Rally.

THE Poole-based Excite Rally Raid Team says it will be running three cars in the 2012 race series and 2013 Dakar Rally.
The vehicles will be made by RaBe Race Cars and the chosen drivers are Martin Rowe, John Hardy and Andrew Coley.
Excite is the only all-British professional Dakar Rally team entered for the 2013 event and is, in fact, the first such team.
They have matched world class drivers, experienced crew and management and tough and reliable RaBe cars to relive the great British days of adventure and spirit.
David Jones, the team’s business manager, said: “We’ve been working on this project for a long time; we haven’t disappeared, but we have had to change our approach due to the economic climate everyone is working in.  We looked at the level of media coverage for rally raid events, and recognised that if we wanted to secure the necessary backing, we first needed to secure the coverage, across all forms of media – and with some really unique ideas, we’re confident we’ve now done that.”
Mike Jones, of RaBe Race Cars, added: “RaBe Race Cars has years of off-road motorsport experience at every level, from club to International works teams.  In fact we have a family motorsport tree that is celebrating its 100th Anniversary of continuous motorsport involvement in 2012.  The last 15 years have been devoted to Desert racing and achieving not just a finish but top honours at Dakar.  Little known outside of the bivouac of Dakar, we have built cars for many other teams who race under their own colours and logos. The partnership with the Excite Rally Raid Team is part of our desire to push our skills to the top of our sport.
“The road to developing a serious car has been as tough as the race itself.  After four years of testing and development, we now have a car that can stand up against any of its peers.  The five prototypes have already competed at three different Dakars, achieving a mechanical finish reliability rate of 100 per cent.  With this reliability and the knowledge gained from testing in Morocco, we will be able to focus on the fine tuning of the D4_WN5 production version to leap into the world rally raid spotlight.  This is a very serious Dakar car, and we are very pleased to combine our skills with the Excite Rally Raid Team for a serious attempt at Dakar.”
Team principal and driver John Hardy said: “This is the best chance an independent manufacturer team has had to perform at the top level in a long time.  We hope that we may be able to work towards a very good result on the Dakar in 2013 and then, next time around, why not shoot for overall honours?!  We have always intended, and still intend, to give it our very best shot!”
The team’s preparations and training are ongoing and the next significant target is to participate in several off-road rallies in 2012 to help with the car’s development.