Sergio Vallejo is one of the best rally drivers in his native Spain Spanish Rally Champion 2009 and 2014 and last year won the GT class of the Spanish Tarmac Cup. Rally Raid will be a new foray for him as he is ready to do his Dakar Rally Debut in 2023. He will race a Century CR6 in class T1.
His younger brother Diego competed as a co-driver at Dakar Oscar Fuertes from Astara team. While the elder Vallejo had long been keen to compete as well, his fascination grew when he entered the race to support Diego. A lack of money and time to train for the race prevented him from attempting the 2021 and 2022 editions before hiring a CR6.
“It has very similar handling to the dirt Porsche I drove in 2017 and 2018,” Vallejo tells La Voz de Galicia. “It’s a very powerful car, predictable and easy to drive.”
Nicknamed ‘The Wolf’, Vallejo has competed in the World Rally Championship, initially just at the Rallye de España as his home rally before expanding to multiple starts in 2001. His best WRC result is nineteenth place at this year’s Rallye de France.
Although he has never competed in a rally raid, the 55-year-old is testing with his brother in an SSV in Morocco.
“It’s my first time, I worry about almost everything” Vallejo continued. “There were world rally champions who couldn’t win the event on their first or second participation. That tells me everything about the demand. I would like to finish among the top rookies, but at some point when I feel risky I slow down because my main goal is to cross the finish line.”
Mario G. Tome will act as his co-driver. While Tome has worked as a rally co-driver, he is also a newcomer to Dakar. Vallejo joked to la region he wanted Diego to do this for him, but Fuertes “won’t let him go” but added he believes he and Tomé “Form a good team” although no one has Dakar experience.
The 2023 Dakar Rally begins on December 31, 2022.