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● Polaris RZR Pro R Factory wins the Dakar Rally 2024 in the SSV Category with Sebastien Loeb Racing
● This victory marks seven total wins at Dakar for Polaris
● RZR Pro R Factory triumphs on its first appearance at Dakar
The Polaris RZR Pro R Factory side-by-side and the Sébastien Loeb Racing team have won the 46th edition of the Dakar Rally after a tremendous showcase of determination, skill and endurance, covering 5,000 kilometres throughout 12 arduous stages that took place across the landscape of Saudi Arabia.
Marking a monumental milestone in the five-year partnership between Polaris Off-Road Vehicles and Sébastien Loeb Racing (SLR), this win comes just one year after the association started in 2023, which aims to put SLR and Polaris in the leading role of the SSV T4 category in the Dakar Rally and the FIA W2RC rankings under the guidance of founder Sébastien Loeb, who also achieved a podium finish at Dakar. This year’s incredible victory is proof that SLR together with Polaris is a winning formula.
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Winning multiple stages—including the new 48-hour Chrono stage—as well as setting the pace in the prologue and finishing on the podium eight times across the 12 stages, the top-placing SSV crew of French pilot Xavier de Soultrait and co-pilot Martin Bonnet dominated the race at the helm of the Polaris RZR Pro R Factory.
“We extend our congratulations to the SLR team and both Xavier de Soultrait and Martin Bonnet on their incredible win at the Dakar, and their commitment to excellence,” said Alex Scheuerell, Polaris Factory Racing Technical Director. “This was the first time that our RZR Pro R Factory vehicle has tackled Dakar, and to win at an event like this has proven that it is a true race-ready platform, built for the extreme, which also plays a major role in the development of our entire RZR lineup and our racing program going forward.
“Dakar is the ultimate test of man and machine, one of the most severe rally raids in the world, so to triumph with the Pro R Factory is proof of what we can achieve with the combined power of Polaris engineering and our incredible partners at SLR. I would like to thank the Polaris Factory Racing Team and the entire RZR engineering group at Polaris that developed an amazing platform to work from.”
Based on the revolutionary RZR Pro R platform, the all-new RZR Pro R Factory was unveiled last year as the centrepiece for the Polaris Factory Racing team, setting a new precedent within the UTV industry with its race-ready level of power, strength, and control. Utilising a high-strength, lightweight chassis compliant with FIA T4 Class, a race-tuned ProStar Fury 2.0L engine, and FOX® Factory Race ESC EVO 3.0 Internal Bypass shocks, the SLR RZR Pro R Factory vehicles are now proven to be capable of withstanding the demands of the nearly 5,000-mile event.
“It’s truly the culmination of a dream,” said Xavier de Soultrait, SLR pilot and Dakar winner. “It’s hard for me to believe that we won this Dakar. I think we raced intelligently, we put pressure on, but we never overdrove. It was our first race with this new Polaris RZR, and frankly, we couldn't have asked for better. I am very happy to have shared this with Martin, we really made a great team, and I of course want to thank the entire Loeb Racing and Polaris Factory Racing team who prepared a perfect car for us; this victory is the fruition of all the teams' efforts! It is also thanks to all our partners that we were able to achieve this.”
"It's incredible! We dreamed of it but today it's become a reality! I'm particularly moved given my personal history with this legendary race that the Dakar represents for me but also for Sébastien. We are very proud of our teams and our two crews who completed an exceptional fortnight without ever giving up,” said Dominique Heintz, Sébastien Loeb Racing Team Manager.
“This victory not only cements the success of our partnership with Polaris, but also reinforces our commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of motorsports. This achievement at Dakar is the result of relentless effort put forth by our team, and the unwavering commitment by our drivers, mechanics and engineers to make the dream come true. Xavier’s and Martin’s exceptional performance is a testament to their dedication, talent and the seamless synergy between them and the Polaris RZR; a vehicle that has certainly proved its mettle this week, and we look forward to the achievements that are still yet to come as part of our ongoing collaboration with Polaris.”
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Sébastien Loeb Racing teammates, #405 Florent Vayssade and Nicolas Rey, delivered a fantastic stage win at the end of Dakar in stage 12, putting them in the top-ten of the overall standings.
Growing its presence at the Dakar Rally this year, Polaris saw three teams take to the race with a total of eight crews running the Polaris RZR: the two crews of Sébastien Loeb Racing in the RZR Pro R Factory, as well as three crews in the RZR Pro R from the experienced Xtremeplus team, and three additional crews from the Spanish TH-Trucks team, running this year for the first time in the SSV category. SLR’s win at this year’s Dakar Rally marks seven total wins for Polaris at Dakar overall, with the Polaris Xtremeplus team previously claiming six Dakar trophies between 2012 and 2017.
Polaris Overall Results
SÉBASTIEN LOEB RACING
#411 - Xavier de Soultrait and Martin Bonnet - P1
#405 - Florent Vayssade and Nicolas Rey - P10
#442 – Enrico Gaspari and Facundo Jaton - P12
#436 – Daniel González Reina and Jorge Hernández Calva - P19
#434 – Domingo Román Pardos and Óscar Bravo Garcia - DNF (withdrawal at Stage 8)
#415 – Jorge Wagernfuhr and Humberto Ribeiro - P14
#401 – Shinsuke Umeda and Maurizio Dominella - P20
#410 – Michele Cinotto and Alberto Bertoldi - P2 (Experience)
ABOUT SÉBASTIEN LOEB RACING
« The highest possible, the fastest possible»
When it was born in 2011, the Sébastien Loeb Racing Motor Racing Team was chosen to match the high ambitions of its founders, Dominique Heintz and Sébastien Loeb. These words have been respected from the first year of existence with an impressive track record since 2012. Building on Sébastien Loeb’s experience as a rally raid driver, first at Peugeot then at Prodrive, Sébastien Loeb Racing decided to write a new page in its history by developing a rally raid program within the team. With a 5-year vision, with the support of an SSV manufacturer, POLARIS.