N°727 Classic R TEAM


(ita) 1.8m / 78kg


Horses, hunting


“The desert is something natural for me”

Where will Giulio Bertolli celebrate his 82nd birthday, on January 21st? The Italian adventurer is used to travelling around the world and he’s setting for new explorations through Saudi Arabia, with a maiden participation in the Dakar Classic set to lead him to Yanbu on January 19th. “The desert is something natural for me”, assures the “rookie”, who spent decades living in Kenya and Sudan. He is also familiar with vintage cars and long expeditions, as illustrated by his participation in the Beijing to Paris in 2019. This is the environment where he met Renato Rickler del Mare, twenty years younger than Bertolli but much more experienced in the Dakar. Over the years, the manager of Team Ralliart has opened the door for many contenders, including his son “Ricky”, who took his place in the truck supporting the squad’s vehicle. “I’ve done 15 Dakars”, Renato recounts with his many roles around the world’s greatest rally… And he’s jumping back aboard a race vehicle with the same colors he had when he became Italian Endurance champion at the beginning of the 1990s: red, yellow and white.

G.B.: “I did a few races in the 1960-1970s, and then I went to Africa, where I didn’t race except for a couple of tours in Southern Africa, starting from Nairobi, going to Cape Town and then returning to Nairobi. The first time I went down through Mozambique and returned through Namibia, and the second time Namibia and then Mozambique. Then in 2019, I did the Beijing to Paris.
With Renato, we prepared a Mercedes 450 SLC to do the Beijing to Paris in 2022. Then, it was cancelled due to Covid and to political reasons with the race going through Russia. With Renato, we have the same passion and he said: ‘Why don’t we do the Dakar?’ And I figured it would be great. He prepared the car and here we go. He has the experience, he has done the Dakar so many times.
I don’t know the Saudi desert because I haven’t been so many times in Saudi Arabia. But with many trips in the Middle East and the area, I’ve been through the desert in Ethiopia, in Yemen, Somalia… I lived in Sudan for 15 years. The desert is something natural for me.
I assume the best Dakar experience is to finish first… But it might be a high aim for a first! I want to make it to the end. I know I have an expert by my side, we get along well and we’ll give it our best.”

R.R.d.M.: “Giulio has never done the Dakar but at 82, he wanted to get in there and I put my experience at his service. The Classic is a beautiful and intelligent way to involve people who otherwise couldn’t do the Dakar.
It’s the number one race in my world, the most important, the one everyone works towards and it’s the biggest adventure in my life. It’s a line everyone wants to write in their curriculum and I’m privileged to have done it so many times.
I’m moved to do it again, and furthermore I’m happy to do it by car with a friend. I don’t have ambitions. I haven’t raced for ten years. I just want to do my Dakar and let’s see what comes out of this.”




  • RTeam
  • RTeam
  • Classic Auto (Moyenne moyenne) 87-96

Classement 2024


Recevez des informations exclusives