This year’s scrambled racing calendar has forced David Castera, ASO’s race director and founder of ODC events, to cancel Rallye du Maroc and offer up Andalucia Rally instead. As Morocco is still closed, Rallye du Maroc, an annual Road to Dakar qualifier race, had to be replaced, and Andalucia Rally took the spotlight.
Held in Villamartin, Spain, Andalucia Rally ran for four days covering over 1,000 km of specials designed as loops around Villamartin. For Dakar vets, this was the chance to train before the Dakar; for rookies, the race allowed to validate their Dakar 2021 registrations, and the Enduro Cup class winner got a free Dakar 2021 entry.
Honda Dominates the Podium
The Andalucia Rally Moto GP win goes to Kevin Benavides, an Argentinean rider with one second-place Dakar win under his belt. “I went out intending to ride a stage with a good pace, focusing on not making any mistakes. My elbow bothered me a bit, but as the day went on, it didn’t hurt so much. I think I rode a good final stage to close this race week. I’m very happy with this win: I needed it too. It’s a victory that rewards all the effort we have made. Now, we are going to continue with all the preparations to reach the 2021 Dakar in even better conditions”, Benavides said on the HRC news page.
Ricky Brabec, winner of Rally Dakar 2020, placed 14th at Andalucia. “We finished the rally and I’m really excited to finish without hitting the ground, first off. Second, I’m happy to board the plane without an injury and get back home and train in the desert. I’m looking forward to that. We had fun out here at the Andalucia Rally, but the style of riding just wasn’t my cup of tea. The roads were fun. Well, I’m not sure if they were fun to race, but they were fun to ride. The whole team is in good shape and is going home healthy. Now, we are all going home to start working towards the main goal: the Dakar”, Ricky commented.
In the Enduro Cup class, Spaniard Tosha Schareina won the Road to Dakar gaining free entry for the Dakar 2021.
Images: Charly Lopez/ODC Andalucia Rally