ERYK GOCZAL(pol) 1.84m / 67kg
Pushing the gas pedal!
Vekoma, Energylandia, Energy2000, Western Camp, Prestigio-Art, Diverse, South Racing, RMF FM
“Us three competing in the Dakar is like a dream come true”
The Goczal name has become familiar on the Dakar in recent years, and a third member of the family is preparing to join the adventure in 2023. Having watched his father Marek and uncle Michal battle for the podium in the SSVs in the last two editions, Eryk Goczal is finally old enough to compete himself in a South Racing-prepared BRP Maverick. The 18-year-old made his rally debut at Baja Europe 2019, driving a zero car for the organisation. He continued in that role throughout the Polish Cross-Country Championship in 2020, before making his debut at the Polish Drift Championship in 2021, as the youngest driver in history. After securing third place in the Pro2 category, he stepped up to the highest class in 2022 and saw off all comers to be crowned Polish Drift Champion, showing that he really means business. He then made his competitive rally-raid debut at the Dubai International Baja -only a month or so before Dakar 2023- and put in a superb showing, finishing as the top T4 ahead of his uncle and father, and as the quickest vehicle outright in the FIA standings. Eryk clearly has a great deal of potential, and has linked up with former biker Oriol Mena for his first tilt at the Dakar. As well as finishing as high as seventh on two wheels in 2018, the Spaniard has worked as a co-driver this year with two World Rally-Raid Champions: Chaleco Lopez and Rokas Baciuska. He helped the Lithuanian snatch a podium place ahead of the Goczal brothers at last year's Dakar, and will now be looking to guide teen sensation Eryk to a memorable debut in the SSVs.
E.G.: “My dad and uncle began this project two years ago, but I needed to wait patiently because of my age. It’s hard to describe how I feel right now, how I’ve felt for the last few months. Us three competing in the Dakar is like a dream come true for the whole family. We’ve been thinking about it since I can remember. For sure it’s a huge task for every competitor, and according to our research I'll be doing the rally as the youngest car driver in history; I'll be 18 years and 55 days old at the start of the first stage. It's a big deal. I'm incredibly happy, it was my biggest dream. The Dakar is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to approach it with humility and never give up. One bad stage doesn't mean anything, or at least it's not the end of the world, because the rally is so long. Another important thing is keeping the concentration level high for a very long time. That will be something new. Another thing is getting good rest and recovery every day. As it’s my debut, I wanted to have a co-driver with big experience. Oriol is very good, a talented and successful co-driver. At Dakar 2022 he was third, so I hope I'm going to learn as much as I can from him. We've been testing together and drove Baja Poland, so I know it's cool with him. We have the same goals and we're very determined to get a good result. They say the biggest success in the Dakar is reaching the finish line, especially if you’re talking about your debut on the world's hardest rally. But I'm ambitious, and I believe we can add a good result to that. The biggest success for me would be a podium place. That’s my dream and goal."
O.M.: “It’s always good to work with drivers like Rokas and Chaleco, since they demand a lot from you in the car. That means you have to be 200% focused and work on managing that pressure. Of course, the first rule in the car is not to lose mutual respect. Being a former biker certainly helps with navigation. Motorcycle riders have that sixth sense that allows us to better understand the terrain, and know how to manage the situation in case we can’t find a waypoint. Obviously, we also get lost (!!), but perhaps we are more decisive. Racing always makes you improve. You see where you're making mistakes and in which aspects you should be stronger. Every day that I get in the car to race, I learn new things, there’s always progress. When the Energylandia team contacted me to be Eryk’s co-driver, I had already noticed him. He has an impressive attitude, he’s capable of anything and above all, he’s very good at figuring out why things happen. He is a very competitive driver, young and enthusiastic. But he also has a very cold and calculating mentality, and that makes him a great rally-raid driver. From the first day I got into the car with him, it was clear to me that Eryk would be my driver, and the seat on the right of the car was for me. When you have that feeling from the first minute, you know you're in the right place.”
ENERGYLANDIA RALLY TEAM
CAN-AM MAVERICK XRS TURBO
ENERGYLANDIA RALLY TEAM
- Mark CAN-AM
- Model MAVERICK XRS TURBO
- Performance tuner South Racing / Energylandia Rally Team
- Assistance South Racing / Energylandia Rally Team
- Class T4: Modified Production SSV
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