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The car that was supposed to be shared by Rebellion president Pesci and co-driver Stephan Khuni in the 44th edition of the Dakar in Saudi Arabia 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 on Stage 9.
While Pesci won’t take the start of the Dakar Rally on Saturday, Rebellion will be represented by 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 car.
The Swiss team, a former race winner in the LMP1 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship, runs the DXX prototype inspired by the Peugeot 3008 DKR.
Pesci’s retirement is the first non-COVID related exit for a competition in Dakar 2022, which will formally get underway with a 19km Prologue on January 1.
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.