Isidre Esteve takes on his toughest challenge yet in the run-up to Dakar 2018

4 minutes

The Repsol Rally Team driver will compete in the Morocco Rally from 5th to 10th October, covering a distance of 2500 km (1500 miles). The driver from Oliana will try out his new Sodicars BV6 in the desert for the first time after a strong performance in the Baja Aragón rally.

Isisdre Esteve fuera del coche en Marruecos
Isidre Esteve takes on his toughest challenge yet in the run-up to Dakar 2018

“This will be a great opportunity to try out the car with the Dakar specifications and see how we fare against some of the rivals we will encounter in South America.”


With strong resolve, Isidre Esteve continues to advance toward his goal of returning to the “Elite” group in the next  Dakar Rally. After the successful début of his new prototype in the Baja Aragón rally, the Repsol Rally Team driver  now faces his next challenge: putting his powerful vehicle to the test in the desert for the first time at the Morocco Rally from 5th to 10th October.  This will be the last big test of the season for the driver from Lérida and his co-driver, Txema Villalobos.

Isidre Esteve’s ambitious journey began in Aragón before the summer, which helped him test the strong potential of the Sodicars Racing BV6 prototype, which has a 3-litre, 335-hp BMW biturbo diesel engine and adapted hand controls on the steering wheel due to his spinal injury. The driver from Oliana was able to adapt quickly to the new vehicle, which forces him to fine-tune his ability to use only his hands to control the steering wheel, brakes, accelerator, and, now, also the sequential transmission

“During the Baja we noticed some problems with the brakes and the suspension, but we were able to solve them after a recent test in France, where we were already working on getting the vehicle ready for Dakar. Honestly, we’re very pleased with the results and I’m really looking forward to having a go at the race with the most recent changes we’ve made”, Isidre Esteve explained excitedly.


The qualitative jump from the cars the driver from Lleida had previously driven was clearly evident during the test in Aragón, which saw the participation of many internationally renowned drivers. In his first race with his new vehicle, Esteve finished in 19th place overall, fifth in the T1.2 category, and second in the Spanish Off-Road Rally Championship

“The new 4×4 has demonstrated its enormous potential. Without a doubt, the Morocco Rally will be a big test in the run-up to Dakar but, at the same time, it will give us a chance to see how we fare against some teams we’ll also be competing with in South America. As always, we’ll try to be competitive and try to get as high up as we can in the classification”, affirmed the driver, who is sponsored by  Repsol and Onyx Seguros.

One of the knowledge gaps to be filled in Morocco is how the prototype will perform in the desert under the extreme conditions that this type of race entails, which are actually quite similar to those of the Dakar Rally“I’ve never driven this vehicle on dunes, and I’m excited to see what happens. I’m convinced that I’ll do better than I have before, since this vehicle is more powerful and weighs less”, predicts Isidre Esteve.

The Morocco Rally, which is part of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies, covers a distance of 2570 kilometres (1500 miles), of which 1955 (1214 miles) will be timed. The test will begin in Fez on Thursday, 5th October with a 12-km (7.5-mile) super special stage to increase interest in the race. Afterwards, there will be five gruelling stages in the outskirts of Erfoud. Sunday (day 8) deserves special mention as it covers the vast distance of 600 kilometres (370 miles) and includes the final in Erg Lihoudi

“This test an ideal opportunity to prepare for the Dakar; the roads are quite varied, which will help my co-driver, Txema Villalobos, and I find our rhythm for the race. It will also be a good opportunity to practise navigating and develop the team dynamics with Sodicars Francia, who I’d like to thank for their willingness to help and maximum involvement in this new project”, said Esteve.

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