Four McRae Enduro Team led by Dakar expert Chris Leyds
May 22, 2008
Dutch Dakar veteran Chris Leyds today announced his new team for 2009, when the event visits South America for the first time in its 30-year history. Following his recent amicable departure from Dakarsport, the team he co-established in 2003, Chris announced a new four-car team based around the all new McRae Enduro – a Cross-Country rally car developed by the McRae family specifically for rough off-road endurance events.
“I’ve been working closely with Alister McRae and his team these past months”, said Chris Leyds. “The new car is the best car I have ever driven in Cross-Country. The chassis handles superbly. It’s so easy and fun to drive. Being diesel also makes everything feel relaxed, but the car is surprisingly fast and very agile. It’s also quiet, very comfortable; and spacious. There is so much space inside! These things are important on long hot events like Dakar”.
The McRae Enduro is the first rally car to meet new FIA regulations which establish a new class in the sport of Cross Country. The new class (T1.2) fits between the two existing categories; one for all-out prototypes (T1) favoured by the major manufacturers; the other for production-based cars (T2), to date the preserve of amateur drivers. Uniquely, the McRae Enduro concept combines an advanced, prototype chassis, with a production-sourced engine and transmission, aimed at keeping costs low.
To support his new four-car team in South America Chris is already assembling the full combination of support vehicles which will include a T4 race truck, several 6×6 trucks and a number of Ford F350 support trucks.
“We already have four confirmed drivers for Dakar 2009, but my support team – we have some very experienced personnel – will have the capability of running at least six cars and so we have two spaces remaining. Being eligible for the new FIA class is a major boost. It means good amateur drivers can be fighting for a top class placing, rather than racing against the works’ team and maybe at best finishing close to the top 10.”
Alister McRae and the McRae Enduro team give full backing: “Chris is exactly the sort of guy we had in mind when we began work on this project. He has a very deep knowledge and experience of what it takes to get his car home, and of all the logistical and support requirements. I’m delighted we are working with him and he and his team have our full support”.
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