Chery has announced that it will compete in the 2010 Dakar Rally, and with that be the first Chinese automaker to participate in what’s famously known as “The World’s Toughest Race”. Next year’s Dakar will again be held in South America over the challenging terrain of Argentina and Chile. Chery acknowledges the difficulty that lies ahead – it calls the race “devil rally”!
Chery will campaign its Rely fleet of SUVs – two X5 race cars, one X5 conductor car and one H5 support car. Ningjun Lu, who has raced in Dakar five times, will lead the driver lineup. Jiang Yaoheng is the other driver with Dali Ma as the team manager. “It’s definitely stressful to attend the 2010 Dakar Rally, but X5, as a real Chinese brand, has different meaning, we have to get good scores,” said a motivated Lu.
Rely is a sub-brand created by Chery for its home market focussing on “high-end all-round commercial vehicles”. Besides Rely, Chery also has Riich (premium passenger cars) and Karry (compacts) brands under its portfolio, but just for use domestically.
The 2010 Dakar Rally will start on New Year’s Day at Buenos Aires and end on January 16 in the same city. This year, the route will measure 9000 km, with a long stint in the Atacama Desert.