Isidre Esteve: “Each edition of the Dakar Rally is a different challenge with different objectives”


The Spanish driver Isidre Esteve (Repsol Toyota Rally Team) commented this Friday about the Dakar Rally that “this edition is a different challenge with different objectives”, after the organization of the 2024 event has taken advantage of the caravan's passage through Barcelona to pay homage to all Spanish pilots and co-pilots.

The passage of the Dakar 2024 through Barcelona is a historic occasion because it has been almost 20 years since the caravan has stopped in Barcelona. Specifically, it was when in 2005 it began in the Catalan capital, which was also the setting for the prologue stage. Esteve was competing on a motorcycle at that time, and finished fourth overall after winning a stage (he had also been fourth in 2001, with two partial victories).

“2005 was a very nice year, with the start from Barcelona and a special on the Castelldefels beach, which was full of people. I was racing with the Repsol team on a motorcycle, a winning team with which we fought to win, and in fact “We achieved a great result. Each edition is a different challenge with different objectives. Now, with the car, we are in a totally different scenario, but it would be great if the 2024 Dakar went as well as the one in 2005,” declared the driver from Ilerda to the Repsol Toyota Rally Team media.

Your Toyota Hilux T1+ will board in the coming days bound for Al-Ula, in Saudi Arabia, for the official start of the competition on January 5, 2024. This logistical operation usually marks the beginning of the countdown to each new Dakar , but this year it is of special importance for Esteve himself and his co-pilot Txema Villalobos.

The team of Esteve and Villalobos, which has the support of Repsol, MGS Seguros, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Spain and KH-7, will start the Dakar 2024 at home since the port of shipment for the vehicles will be Barcelona. And in this context, the organization honored the 119 Spanish pilots and co-pilots, the second largest nationality.

Next to the Barceloneta beach, the Repsol Toyota Rally Team enjoyed contact with the fans and, in the Rosa del Vents square in Port Vell, they confirmed their enthusiasm for Esteve. “It has been a huge pleasure to enjoy this ceremony in Barcelona, ​​to be next to the fans and allow the fans to see the car up close. Meeting the fans is always a very special feeling, and even more so at home. We have to try enjoy these moments to the fullest,” said Esteve.

The party, framed in the municipal initiative 'Barcelona lives the Dakar', was the preamble for the processing of administrative and technical verifications, which the Repsol Toyota Rally Team will dispatch this December 2. In the coming days, logistical loading operations for vehicles from Europe will be carried out.

“In total, 800 vehicles will be shipped from the port of Barcelona to Saudi Arabia, including those for the race, assistance, press and organization. The Toyota Hilux T1+ of the Repsol Toyota Rally Team will wear number 235 in this 46th edition, in which Esteve hopes fight for the absolute 'top 20'”, reported the team of the driver from Ilerda in their note.