Discover the stories of the Dakar's heroes Inside the Bivouac
N°319 Car SOUTH RACING CAN-AM

HELDER RODRIGUES

(prt)

2017: 9th (bikes)
2016: 5th (bikes)
2015: 12th (bikes)
2014: 5th (bikes)
2013: 7th (bikes)
2012: 3rd (bikes)
2011: 3rd (bikes)
2010: 4th (bikes)
2009: 5th (bikes)
2007: 5th (bikes)
2006: 9th (bikes)

2022: Rallye du Maroc (10th T3)
2003: winner ISDE 125cc
2000: Junior World Enduro Champion, 17 x Portuguese enduro titles

Interview

“I simply love to race”

Helder Rodrigues already has an illustrious career behind him as a motorcycle racer, racing the Dakar on two wheels from 2006 to 2017. In that time he chalked up two back to back podiums in 2011/12 with Yamaha before switching to Honda in 2013. In total the Portuguese rider clocked up 9 stage wins before, in 2018, taking on the role as manager at HRC alongside fellow countryman Ruben Faria. There too he enjoyed a fair bit of success -under his watch American Ricky Brabec won the Dakar in 2020, Honda’s first since 1989, with Kevin Benavides replicating that exploit the following year. You might imagine that the Portuguese man would be content to continue in his management role, alongside running his soup factory… but first and foremost Helder is a competitor and the lure of racing has proved irresistible. Having his friend and fellow motorcycle competitor Goncalo Reis available as co-driver and South Racing as a neighbour all helped Helder to make the switch to competing in the T3 category, a class in which he is convinced he could have a great future.


“Everything came together to make the decision relatively easy. Goncalo (Reis) was keen to co-drive, South Racing is next door, there’s plenty of quality SSV races here in Portugal to use as training, plus I simply love to race… I think I’m the right age for this new challenge, not too old not too young… We made a good start on our international T3 debut on the Rallye du Maroc with a second place on day 1. After that we ran into some technical problems… So much can happen on the Dakar that it is difficult to make any predictions but our objective is to finish every day in a good position. If we can manage that and avoid any disasters then a podium finish is not an unrealistic goal.”

“Everything came together to make the decision relatively easy. Goncalo (Reis) was keen to co-drive, South Racing is next door, there’s plenty of quality SSV races here in Portugal to use as training, plus I simply love to race… I think I’m the right age for this new challenge, not too old not too young… We made a good start on our international T3 debut on the Rallye du Maroc with a second place on day 1. After that we ran into some technical problems… So much can happen on the Dakar that it is difficult to make any predictions but our objective is to finish every day in a good position. If we can manage that and avoid any disasters then a podium finish is not an unrealistic goal.”

Vehicle

SOUTH RACING CAN-AM

CAN-AM MAVERICK XRS
SOUTH RACING CAN-AM

  • CAN-AM
  • MAVERICK XRS
  • South Racing
  • South Racing
  • T3.1: Lightweight Prototype Cross-Country

Ranking 2023

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