Aliyyah Koloc aiming for the title of the FIA Middle East Cross-Country Baja Cup in Dubai this weekend
Thorough preparation for her Dakar debut could bring great success for Buggyra ZM Racing driver Aliyyah Koloc. The just 18-year-old will be fighting for the championship title at the Dubai International Baja this weekend, the final round of the 2022 FIA Middle East Cross-Country Baja Cup.
Behind the wheel of a Can-AM DV21, Aliyyah is well-placed to fight for victory as she currently leads the championship with a total of 84 points, 22 points ahead of second-placed Hamad Nasser Alharbi of Saudi Arabia.
"Winning this series was not our priority at the beginning of the season, it was all about gaining experience. So we are very happy to see Aliyyah performing so well in the challenging conditions of the deserts of the Arabian Peninsula. A title win would be a great boost before the Dakar Rally," says Buggyra's Head of Communications, Jan Kalivoda.
Aliyyah knows that it won’t be easy and she has to fight until the last meters. "The Dubai International Baja will be the culmination of my preparations for the Dakar Rally. I am happy to be doing so well in the FIA Middle East Cross-Country Baja Cup, but nothing is decided yet, so I will focus on this rally as for any other event and do the best I can," says Aliyyah, who will once again have experienced French co-driver Stéphane Duplé by her side.
Téo Calvet as the second team entry
Buggyra ZM Racing will have two Can-Ams at the Dubai event. The second team entry will be driven by Téo Calvet who makes his off-road racing debut in Dubai. The Frenchman is the team’s backup entry in the T3 Light Prototype category. "As I couldn’t participate in the 2022 Dakar due to a hand injury, this is a great opportunity to get back into off-road racing. The main goal is to prepare well, so that I can be a full backup for the team if needed," said the 21-year-old, who will have South African Taye Perry as his co-driver.
The Dubai International Baja runs from December 1 to 3. On the first day, there will be administrative checks and a ceremonial start. Friday, December 2, will see the first leg with a total length of 310.21km, of which 194.40 are timed. On Saturday, there will be a total of 317.44km to be mastered, of which 121.46km are timed.