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N°275 Auto RALLY RAID ESTONIA

URVO MÄNNAMA

(est) 1.85m / 97kg

Sponsors

Motorsport, off-roading

First participation

2022: Fenix Rally (1st, Car Open class), Rallye Breslau (1st, Car Open class)
2021: Rallye Breslau (Ab.), Rallye du Maroc (14th, T1 class)

Interview

“This Dakar is a historic moment for Estonians”

Dakar 2023 will be a special edition for Estonia, with drivers from the country taking part in the cars and SSVs for the very first time. Debutants Urvo Männama and Risto Lepik have drawn inspiration from their Baltic neighbours Lithuania, where rally-raid is hugely popular. In fact, they bought their Toyota Hilux for 2023 from Dakar regular Benediktas Vanagas, who has teamed up with Estonian co-driver Kuldar Sikk for this 45th edition. It has been almost 20 years since Urvo started racing offroad, and around three years ago he decided to set up his own team to tackle the world's toughest rally. He also brought in former bikers Toomas Triisa (winner of the malle-moto class in 2017) and Mart Meeru. Not only will they be representing Rally Raid Estonia in the SSVs, but also sharing their knowledge of previous Dakar experiences. Urvo and Risto are both fairly new to this discipline, but they've been racing together for a long time, and also happen to be cousins -so there shouldn't be any issues with communication or camaraderie. Ahead of their maiden Dakar, the duo impressed this year with wins in the Open class at the Fenix Rally and the Rallye Breslau. They are now preparing for the adventure of a lifetime in Saudi Arabia, with the primary objective to make it safely through to the finish line in Dammam.


U.M.: “Motorsport has been my passion throughout my life. I started out competing in off-road racing in around 2005. In recent years I've also done some track racing with cars, then I started competing in rally-raid last year. It feels exciting to be taking part in our first Dakar! We've been preparing for about three years with our team. I decided to take the more difficult route of creating my own team, so there's been a lot to consider and prepare for. There has never been an Estonian team in the Dakar car class. We've only had bikers and one Kamaz crew in the trucks, when we were still part of the Soviet Union. So this Dakar is a historic moment for Estonians, as we have a first car and SSV starting, with Triisa and Meeru. Of course, Lithuanians have helped to introduce us to the sport and share their experiences. To be more precise, Benediktas Vanagas has been mentoring and supporting us with his knowledge and experience. I guess that's also visible in our choice of car and our service truck, both of which we acquired from him. As usual for a rookie team, our objective is to finish and to do so with a good result. Time will tell what it's possible for us to achieve. I’ve known Risto for literally my whole life, since we're cousins. We've been racing together for years and we get along well in the car in difficult situations. Navigation is a big part of Dakar, and Risto has taken his task seriously by trying to learn from all of our previous races. Obviously, we both still have a lot to learn, and we're looking forward to it.”

Véhicule

RALLY RAID ESTONIA

TOYOTA HILUX
RALLY RAID ESTONIA

  • TOYOTA
  • HILUX
  • Rally Raid Estonia
  • Rally Raid Estonia
  • T1+ : Voitures Tout-terrain Prototypes 4x4

Classement 2023

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