Aliyyah Koloc heads for the top in Rally Raids
Aliyyah Koloc, the 18-year-old Buggyra ZM Team racer, completed a successful two-day test in South Africa in a T1 and T1+ race car in March. The test was run in cooperation with Red-Lined International, a South African Rally Raid vehicle manufacturer, giving Aliyyah her first taste of the premium category of rally raid racing. It was a big step up from the T3, the race car that Aliyyah had driven in her first Dakar Rally earlier this year, finishing 33rd in her category.
● The 18-year-old Dubai-born racer completed a 2-day test in both a T1 and T1+ race car, the highest category of rally raid racing, in cooperation with Red-Lined International, a South African T1 Vehicle Manufacturer
● Aliyyah to participate in a number of races in the 2023 South African Rally Raid Championship, currently one of the most competitive series in the world
● FIA Middle East Cup for Cross-Country Bajas a preparation at the end of the year for the 2024 Dakar in a T1+
Impressive first steps
Aliyyah Koloc: “I tested the T1 and T1+ last month in South Africa. Overall, it went really well. It is a great race car to drive and really fast. Within off-road, I had never driven a car as fast as this before. It is also bigger and heavier and thus very different in handling to the T3, in particular the control of the weight, power, and gear selection. It was a little overwhelming at first and took me some time to get used to. I would like to thank Terence Marsh, the Red-Lined CEO, who really helped me through the process of understanding how the race car works. I honestly can’t wait to drive them again.”
Aliyyah, who is driving in the 24h GT endurance series as well as the FIA Middle East Cup for Cross-Country Bajas and the W2RC World Rally Raid Championship, will also participate in some races of the 2023 South African Rally Raid Championship, one of the most competitive rally raid series in the world. The test was a good preparation for her first rally raid event in South Africa, scheduled for May, where she will start in a T1 for the first time. For her second rally raid event in August, she is scheduled to drive in a T1+ for the first time. Together with the Middle East Baja events at the end of the year, Aliyyah will have gained some solid experience in preparation for the 2024 Dakar that she is planning to enter in the highest category, the T1+ class, competing with the likes of Carlos Sainz, Sebastien Loeb, and Nasser Al-Attiyah.
Martin Koloc: “Aliyyah learns really quickly. On the first day of testing, she was a little hesitant but on day 2 it was like she had never driven anything else. Great performance! The strategic partnership between Red-Lined and Buggyra opens up a new chapter for us in terms of global presence. We have jointly agreed that Aliyyah will be our official junior development factory driver for the upcoming season and we are really excited to get everything underway. We will be doing some more testing to give her more seat time to prepare her for her ultimate goal, participation in the Dakar in the top tier T1+ class.”
Terence Marsh, Red-Lined CEO: “Aliyyah is an incredible talent, just 18 years old and already making the transition from the T3 to the T1 premium category. From Red Lined’s point of view, it is really exciting to have Aliyyah on the team and as part of our youth development strategy. She has an immense amount of talent and is extremely focused. The driver assessment and training sessions were really impressive and we are really looking forward to the journey and challenges that lie ahead of us.”
Racing in the South African Championship in a T1 and T1+
The first race of the 2023 South African Rally-Raid Championship for Aliyyah will be in May, and it will be her first time racing in a T1 car. At the end of May another private test session is scheduled for Namibia in a T1+ before Aliyyah takes on her second rally raid event in South Africa in August, this time scheduled to be in a T1+.
Thereafter, the T1+ will be shipped to the Middle East for Aliyyah to continue with her Dakar and dune preparations in the FIA Middle East Cup for Cross-Country Bajas.
As Aliyyah sums up her experience: “I am extremely fortunate and grateful for the opportunity to be able to move to the highest level of Rally Raid racing and I am really looking forward to what the future holds.”
Planned races in the South African Rally-Raid Championship
May 12-13: Sugarbelt KZN (JAR) T1
August 18-19: Parys (JAR) T1+
Planned races in the FIA Middle East Cup for Cross-Country Bajas
Nov 9-11, Dubai (UAE), T1+
Nov 23-25, Jordan, T1+
TBA , Kuwait T1+