2018: 24 hours of France TT (14th, 4th T1B class), Baja Aragon (5th), 24 hours of Portugal TT (5th)
2017: Portuguese national TT championship (1st), Baja Aragon (10th), Baja Portalegre (1st)
2016: Qatar Sealine Cross-Country Rally (6th), Baja Aragon (Ab.), Baja Portalegre (1st)
2015: Rallye du Maroc (Ab.), Baja Portalegre (1st)
2014: Portuguese national TT championship (1st), Baja TT Oleiros (1st), Baja Portalegre (1st)
2013: Rallye du Maroc (1st rookie)
2010: Portuguese national TT championship (3rd, 1st T2 class)
Ricardo Porém has been making a name for himself on the Portuguese rally raid circuit for almost a decade, and the 29-year-old is now preparing to get a first taste of the Dakar. A two-time national all-terrain champion, he set a remarkable new record by winning the famous Baja Portalegre in four consecutive years between 2014 and 2017. Perhaps the most memorable of those wins came alongside his brother Manuel in 2014, although things didn't go quite as planned when they linked up again in 2018: after hitting a tree on the first stage, the duo were forced to retire and Ricardo lost his hopes of a fifth consecutive crown. For this maiden Dakar, he will be competing with his old friend Jorge Monteiro, Paulo Ferreira's long-term co-driver, with whom he won Baja Portalegre in 2015. The talented Portuguese pair have entered the side-by-side (SxS) category, and will be looking to pick up valuable experience as they target a positive result for the South Racing Can-Am team.
“It's my first time in Dakar, with South Racing Can-Am. I don't have too much experience in the SxS class so it's a new challenge for me. Up until now I've done World Cup cross-country races and the Portuguese championship, but I'm very motivated for this new challenge. I started motorsport at the age of four, my father got me into it, but I only started driving cars when I was 18. I did my first championship in 2010, then in 2014 I was crowned Portuguese champion in T1 cars and overall, and I managed to win the title again in 2017. I've won Baja Portalegre four times in T1 -twice with X-Raid and twice with South Racing. We got the opportunity to participate in Dakar with the SxS because the budget is smaller, and I think it's the ideal solution for starting off in Dakar, it's good to learn what the rally is like. I've known Jorge for a long time, he's a great friend with a lot of experience in desert races. He's done the Rallye du Maroc four or five times, the Africa Eco Race, Tunisia. He's a very experienced navigator on desert rallies, which is key because it'll be my first time in Peru. I think in a first Dakar the usual objective is to finish, but I'm a very competitive guy. It's important to learn the ropes and get to grips with a longer race -this isn't like a baja or a one-week rally- but I want to do my best and get the best possible result for the team.”
SOUTH RACING CAN-AM
It is a day for rookies in the SxS category. Battling with Michelangelo Bertolla since the beginning of the special, Ricardo Porem – another newcomer to the Dakar – has now taken command of the stage, but merely by 7 seconds. Chaleco López lies in wait just 13 seconds behind.
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