Chilean Racers Francisco Lopez and Claudio Troncoso Make History as First SxS to Finish African Rally
BRP’s Can-Am Commander SxS, driven by Francisco Lopez and co-pilot Claudio Troncoso, won the Morocco Rally in the UTV category after covering 2,000 kilometres of challenging African terrains.
The duo made international headlines last week due to their impressive finish in the Morocco Rally, becoming the only SxS competitor to complete the six gruelling stages of the 2011 edition, in addition to placing 21st within the car category.
Lopez and his Can-Am Nextel Team attributed their victory to the pilots’ experience, the Can-Am Commander SxS’s outstanding performance, and the unwavering support of Jaton Racing, a Spanish company that prepared the side-by-side vehicle for the race, and provided mechanical assistance through its duration.
“Our starting objective for the race was clear: test the Can-Am Commander SxS’s capacity in difficult terrains to ensure a solid performance in the 2012 Dakar. We weren’t aspiring to win,” Lopez commented after the race. “By the last day, we had a new objective: become the first SxS vehicle in the history of the UTV class to finish the Morocco Rally.”
The Can-Am Nextel Team, who drew substantial media attention during its first appearance in the 2011 Dakar, set their sights on the Moroccan desert in early 2011.
The purpose was to learn from BRP’s Can-Am Commander SxS’s performance in a rally that would allow them to adapt the unit and ensure a victorious 2012 Dakar appearance in the UTV category.
“BRP’s Can-Am Commander SxS reflects our DNA in its purest tradition,” said Chris Dawson, vice-president and general manager, International division. “This very unique side-by-side has been designed to bring a new level of power, cutting-edge design and meaningful innovations. To finish first in its category in its first test – the only SxS to complete the race – certainly delivers on our promise.”
The Can-Am Nextel Team will take the wheel of a 2011 Can-Am Commander SxS in a quest to secure its second international rally victory in the UTV segment at the 34th edition of the Dakar Rally.