AUSTIN JONES(usa) 1.82m / 79kg
Motorcycles, friends, shooting guns
Monster Energy, Can-Am, Motul, Tensor Tire, Method Wheels, J.Juan Brake Systems, OMP, Bell, Lazer
2020: 8th (2nd rookie)
2020: Qatar Cross-Country Rally (Ab.), Vegas to Reno (17th), Andalucia Rally (9th)
2019: SCORE International (3rd); San Felipe 250 (1st), Baja 500 (4th), Baja 400 (4th), Silk Way Rally (5th), Morocco Rally (4th)
2018: Parker 425 (1st), SCORE International (1st); San Felipe 250 (2nd), Baja 500 (1st), Baja 1000 (1st), Baja Aragon, Morocco Rally (Ab.)
“Dakar 2020 was insane!”
After getting a first taste of the Dakar a year ago, rising star Austin Jones can't wait for a second tilt at the world's biggest (and no doubt craziest) rally. The talented American is only 24 years old, yet he is among the favourites in the SSV class, where he will be lining up alongside 2018 champion co-driver Gustavo Gugelmin. After an impressive debut showing with Kellon Walch in 2020, 'AJ' has traded South Racing Can-Am for the Monster Energy Can-Am factory team, who are out to defend their title following Casey Currie's victory a year ago. Offroad racing runs in Austin's blood; his father Jesse has been competing in desert events for the past 20 years and runs the Jones Motorsport team. AJ therefore spent his childhood learning the ins and outs of racing, although it was only in 2018 that he got behind the wheel himself, after spending a year as his dad's co-driver. A proud Jesse admits that he has been having the "time of his life" sharing his knowledge and experience with AJ, and says that seeing his son win is better than winning himself. In his first full season, Austin teamed up with Bryce Swaim and they took the SCORE International championship by storm, claiming victories at the Baja 500 and Baja 1000 in the Trophy Truck Spec class. He took his first steps in rally raid towards the end of 2018, participating in Baja Aragon and the Morocco Rally. In 2019 he achieved top-5 finishes at the Silk Way Rally and Morocco before taking the plunge with Kellon at the Dakar, coming 8th overall in the SSVs and finishing as the second-best rookie after Axel Alletru. Having first heard about the rally thanks to American racing legend Robby Gordon, AJ is now keen to follow in the footsteps of Currie and Ricky Brabec, who became the USA's first Dakar champions in 2020. His ultimate goal is to stand on the top step of the podium, even if he knows that you need very strong performances and a healthy slice of luck to win the Dakar.
A.J.: “The experience of Dakar 2020 was amazing. We were in a really good spot about halfway through, but then we had a bunch of mechanical problems, stuff that was out of our control. It was a bummer to have some of the bad luck we did, but we've got it all dialled in now. Last year was amazing, the size of the entire event really blew me away, the scale of the organisation, how worldwide of an event it is, the adventure. F***, it was insane! We went really far through one of the world's biggest countries. This year, mentally, I'm much more prepared for it. Basically, I have a better idea of what's about to happen. We're ready to go, I'm excited to go. We raced in Qatar in February, and we did Andalucia. Other than that we haven't done many rallies, just lots of training and testing in the USA and Portugal. Gustavo rode with me in Qatar and Andalucia, and we worked very well in the car together. He's a very good navigator, obviously, and with all his experience and knowledge he complements my driving pretty well. Saudi Arabia is extremely similar to Arizona. We don't have dunes here where I live, like they do in California, but the desert, the rocks, the sharpness of the rock, and the openness of Saudi, it's very similar to the west coast of the USA, and down in Mexico. My dad raced down in Mexico, doing Baja 1000, Mint 400, Trophy Trucks… he was a three-time champion back in his day. I grew up being in the desert a lot, being in the pits and seeing the guys work on the cars, learning how it all works. I'm not going to lie, I'm not very experienced. Last year was my first Dakar, and this only is my third complete year. As far along as we are, it's still pretty new, I'm still figuring it out. Casey winning the SSVs last year adds a strange kind of pressure -the American in the Monster Energy Can-Am won last year, so the American in the Monster Energy Can-Am should win this year, right? We're going to have to fight, and it'll be a long, gruelling race. But obviously our goal is to do as well as possible. Winning would be amazing, and we'll certainly do everything we can. If we can have clean runs every day, and avoid the mistakes, then hopefully we'll do well.”
MONSTER ENERGY CAN-AM
- Marque : CAN - AM
- Modèle : XRS
- Préparateur : Monster Energy Can Am
- Assistance : Monster Energy Can Am
- Classe : T4.1 SSV de série turbo
Toute l'actualité de A. Jones
Coup dur pour Quintero !
Seth Quintero, en tête en début de spéciale, est tombé en panne à hauteur du km 210. Le plus jeune vainqueur d’étape au Dakar, qui occupait la deuxième place au général à 10’31’’ d’Austin Jones avant le départ, risque de perdre gros aujourd’hui....
Jones toujours en tête à mi-parcours
Austin Jones se maintient aux commandes du classement des véhicules légers au km 217. L’Américain devance à nouveau Jose Antonio Hinojo Lopez avec 2’12 d’avance et 3’35 sur Mitchell Guthrie.
Jones, Guthrie et Varela en moins de 30 secondes
Au volant de son Can Am, Austin Jones se maintient en tête au km 88. L’Américain, deuxième meilleur rookie l’an dernier, devance son compatriote Mitchell Guthrie de 23’’. Reinaldo Varela, vainqueur en 2018 dans la catégorie SSV, complète le Top 3 à 27’’.
Varela, Jones et Lopez dans la même minute
Reinaldo Varela s’impose au terme de la première étape du Dakar 2021. Le Brésilien, vainqueur de l’édition 2018, termine avec 28 secondes d’avance sur Austin Jones et 42 sur Chaleco Lopez. Une passe d’armes serrée dont a été exclu Sergei Kariakin, dauphin l’an dernier, qui conclut en cinquième...
Jones s’impose en SSV
Deuxième au classement des rookies l’an dernier, l’Américain a remporté le prologue du Dakar 2021 avec quatre secondes d’avance sur un adversaire bien plus expérimenté et ancien vainqueur en la personne de Reinaldo Varela. Promu dans l’équipe Monster Energy Can Am factory pour cette édition 2021, « AJ »...
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