Tuesday 18 December 2012
Catalan rally ace, Xavi Foj, and the inspirational Race2Recovery team are just days away from embarking on motorsport’s most gruelling challenge – the Dakar Rally – on acclaimed Cooper 4x4 tyres.
Foj – one of the world’s most revered cross-country rally racers – is set to contest the Dakar Rally for an incredible 23rd time in 2013. The Spaniard will return to the South American desert on the same tyre that carried him to success in the production class in the 2012 Dakar Rally – the Cooper Discoverer S/T MAXX
Benefiting from Cooper’s class-leading, 3-ply Armor-Tek3 construction, the Discoverer S/T MAXX boasts added sidewall and tread strength, while a unique angled ply construction absorbs and dissipates tyre impact forces that can damage a tyre in harsh off-road conditions.
Also on Cooper rubber for the 2013 Dakar Rally is the Race2Recovery team, which has set its sights on a place in the history books in 2013. Bursting into the spotlight after an appearance on BBC Top Gear in 2011, the squad has spent the past 18 months preparing for the ultimate test of skill and personal strength.
Under the banner of “Beyond Injury, Achieving the Extraordinary” the team – which predominantly comprises injured servicemen from the UK and the USA – is aiming to become the first-ever disabled team to complete the Dakar Rally. The squad will field a total of four Land Rover Defender-based Wildcat race vehicles, which will all run on Cooper Discoverer STT tyres.
The Discoverer STT is ideal for the mixed surfaces of the Dakar Rally course; the tyre’s aggressive tread design extends far down the sidewall to enhance soft traction and provide additional “bite” in rock climbing applications.
The Dakar Rally is the world’s most challenging motorsport endurance race; covering 9,000 km in 15 days, the race not only demands the utmost speed and accuracy from teams, it is also a test of navigational skills and consistency.
Teams must display the highest levels of stamina – both physical and mental – as the slightest misjudgement can prove extremely costly. While the teams are confronted with extreme fatigue as they make their way across the South American desert, their highly acclaimed Cooper tyres will come into their own, offering increased abrasion resistance in tough, uneven terrain.
Speaking on behalf of Cooper Tire ahead of the rally, Sarah McRoberts spoke of the demands of the rally, “Dakar is infamously challenging – it’s a long and tiring course but it’s really the surface and the conditions that combine to make it such a high attrition race.
“Tyres are hugely important in all forms of motorsport and Dakar is no exception; soft traction and the dispersion of stones and other objects will be vital for the competitors and Cooper’s off-road offering is ideally suited to the Dakar Rally. After such a successful event in 2012, it’s great to have Xavi Foj – who is something of a living legend in the rallying ranks – back on board for 2013 and we’re very happy to be supporting the incredible Race2Recovery team in their bid to make history.”
The 2013 Dakar Rally will begin in Lima, Peru, on 5 January. Teams will traverse much of southern Peru, crossing the Andes and entering into Argentina before moving into Chile to cross the finish line in Santiago on 20 January.