Dakar 2023 |
Stage 1 |
> AL HENAKIYAH
January 1 st 2023 - 10:26 [GMT + 3]
Young Italians Rebecca Busi and Giulia Maroni entered the Dakar Classic race in 2022 before joining forces this year for their first big Dakar challenge in an SSV.
Their baptism by fire has come. Granted, the 26-year-old Rebecca Busi has known her way around a bivouac ever since she discovered the event in the Dakar Classic last January. The experience won her over. It was also during her first trek through Saudi Arabia that she met Giulia Maroni, who at the time was also competing in the retro race. Maroni became her co-driver at the start of the 2023 edition. Yet the call of the desert had long exerted its influence on the young woman from Bologna, who used to follow her father, Roberto, in his adventures on two wheels. He was an accomplished enduro rider who entered the Rallye des Pharaons multiple times, among other races, but a nasty leg injury dashed his hopes of participating in the Dakar. His crazy dream lived on in his family until it came true this year when the two bivouac buddies hopped into a Can-Am SSV tuned by HRT Technology Team. The old man, eager to see it from up close, has taken up a new role as the driver of the recreational vehicle in which Rebecca and Giulia will recuperate —if that is even possible— between one stage and the next: "It was our dream", insists Roberto. "I'm overwhelmed by emotion and extremely proud to see her reach the first milestone."
As protective of crew no. 447 as Dad is, he has no way of rushing to their aid when the chips are down. The first few miles of racing already had some surprises in store for the duo: "No-one here is more of an amateur than I am, and this was the first time I drove the car", says Rebecca, taking a jab at herself. "The prologue was quite fun, but we struggled with the water from the beginning. There was mud and, since we still had to get acquainted with the car, we had no idea where the windscreen wiper switch was! It's rather hilarious, but I hope it's not a sign of things to come." The young Italian has just completed her Economy studies after spending the last year focused on preparing for the challenge. In accordance with her Epicurean motto, "Eat pasta, drive fasta", displayed on her website, Rebecca is intent on building a future for herself in the world of rally raids: "I fear I might be a tad too slow, but I'm here to learn and polish my skills. We want to finish the Dakar without banging up the car too much, which would mean we overcame every challenge. Taking good care of the car and bringing it all the way to the finish would already be an accomplishment"