Rebellion retires from 2022 Dakar Rally on shakedown after fire engulfs car

Rebellion has been forced to retire its #251 entry from the Dakar Rally after the DXX RD Limited prototype suddenly caught fire during the shakedown.

Alexandre Pesci, Stephan Kuhni, Rebellion DXX

The car that was supposed to be driven by Rebellion president Alexandre Pesci and co-driver Stephan Khuni in the 44th edition of the Dakar Rally was destroyed after being engulfed in flames in a 10.7km shakedown near Jeddah. Both Pesci and Khuni were uninjured.

The incident marked a premature end to what would have been Pesci’s third successive appearance in the prestigious cross-country rally. The team owner/driver finished 43rd on his debut in 2020 but was forced to retire from last year’s event in Stage 9.

While Pesci won’t take the start of the Dakar Rally on Saturday, Rebellion will retain its representation through a second entry piloted by Le Mans 24 Hours winner and Pikes Peak record holder Romain Dumas. The ex-Porsche factory driver will be joined by navigator Remi Boulanger in the #215 Rebellion.

The team, a former winner in the LMP1 class of the World Endurance Championship, races the DXX prototype inspired by the Peugeot 3008 DKR.

"Last year, our Dakar came to a halt after a series of rollovers," Pesci said earlier this week. "The roll bar was too damaged for the officials to allow us to continue the race. But right from the start we were handicapped by the shock absorbers breaking on every stage. The problem has been solved and we hope to have a smoother Dakar.

"The first year, I finished 43rd and the following year, Romain finished 43rd, so we will try to progress, while having fun. 

"Our partnership with the Dakar goes beyond putting stickers or renting a car. We wanted to build and develop a car, and I am personally involved as a driver."

Pesci’s retirement is the first non-COVID related exit for the competition at the 2022 Dakar Rally, which will formally get underway with a 19km Prologue on 1 January.

The first stage will begin from the King Abdulaziz Stadium in Saudi Arabia’s commercial hub Jeddah, roughly 60km from where the shakedown was held earlier this week.

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