Polaris will compete in the 2021 Dakar Rally. In a press release, the company says that their upcoming entry is a first for the factory team.
Factory team members Wayne Matlock, Kristen Matlock, and Craig Scanlon will compete for Polaris. Each will ride Polaris RZR Pro XP machines modified by Jimco Racing®.
Polaris Dakar husband and wife team
The husband and wife team of Kristen and Wayne Matlock will each race in their own RZR vehicles. And, the duo has a very significant racing resume. Both have won major off-road events.
Wayne is a 10-time UTV BAJA Champion with wins in the BAJA 1000, BAJA 500, and San Filipe races. Sam Hayes will be his navigator.
Wayne had this to say about competing in the Dakar:
In the world of off-road racing, getting the chance to participate in the Dakar Rally is an opportunity of a lifetime, and we are humbled to be part of RZR’s inaugural group of racers. We are thrilled to be backed by this industry-leading team and an incredible army of sponsors to help prepare us and our machines for this endeavor.”
Kristen began racing UTVs professionally less than 5 years ago. But that has not stopped her from dominating major events, including wins at the BAJA 1000 and BAJA 500. She also took the overall UTV win at the 2020 BAJA 500, which marks her second SCORE victory in a row. Her navigator for the Dakar will be Max Eddy.
Third Polaris competitor
Polaris’ third competitor will be Craig Scanlon. Scanlon played a major role in the conception and development of the RZR Racing Program more than ten years ago. Scanlon recently won the 2019 Score BAJA 500. For the Dakar, he will ride with navigator Keith Redstrom.
Speaking about the upcoming challenge, Polaris’ President of Polaris Off-Road, Steve Meneto, had this to say:
“The Dakar Rally is a global platform that embodies the spirit of adventure and pioneering for off-road racing and elevates it to an entirely different level. It’s an honor to take part in such a historic event. The revolutionary innovations featured in our 2021 RZR Pro XP vehicles, coupled with the support of our performance-driven sponsors, have allowed us to realize this significant milestone for RZR Factory racing which starts a new chapter in our ongoing off-road racing legacy.”
The 2021 edition of the Dakar Rally will start in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and will run from January 3, 2021, to January 15, 2021.