Peter Jerie wins 2015 Dakar Series for South Racing
Czech-born Australian driver Peter Jerie has double reason to celebrate after a superb season of rallying with South Racing in South America. Jerie claimed victory in the prestigious Dakar Series and also topped the points’ standings in the South American CODESUR Championship.
The Dakar Series success came as a result of his third place at Argentina’s Desafio Ruta 40 and a superb outright victory in Paraguay’s Desafio Guarani. Both results came at the wheel of a Toyota Hilux, run by the Germany-based car preparations company South Racing, with French navigator Laurent Lichtleuchter reading the notes alongside.
Following the cancellation of Desafio Inca, September’s scheduled third round of the Dakar Series in Peru, Jerie had amassed enough points to have an unassailable lead in the series. Topping the points in the CODESUR Championship was icing on the cake for the Australia-based driver.
Jerie is now making plans with South Racing to enter his fifth Dakar Rally. Last year, he finished 42nd overall after retiring in three former African Dakars and on the seventh stage of the 2014 event in South America.
“It was great to race in South America this year and, together with Laurent and the team, we had some really good results in some very tough events,” reflected Jerie. “It was also great preparation for me for the Dakar. I would have loved to race in Peru, as the dunes and the country are fantastic.
“Laurent will be moving on to the official Toyota Autobody T2 team for Dakar and I would like to thank him for his great work in all the rallies that we have competed in. For Dakar, I will be racing with Dale Moscatt, who is a great co-driver and active in WRC and the Asia Pacific region.”
Organised by Mas Eventos with the full support of the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) - that runs the Dakar Rally in January - Desafio Ruta 40 started in Catamarca and finished in Villa Unión and included terrain that will be included in three special stages of the 2016 Dakar Rally.
Organised by the Touring Automovil Club, with the approval of the Confederación deportiva Automovilistica Sudamericana, Desafio Guarani took place over five demanding stages through some of the remotest terrain in Paraguay and Jerie notched up the most important victory of his career to seal a winning margin of a staggering 3hr 23min 33sec. The event started in the Paraguayan capital of Asunción and ran in extremely muddy conditions.
“Peter joined South Racing at the start of the year and, together, we have made some great steps and had some very good races,” enthused South Racing’s team director Scott Abraham. “This, of course, would not have been possible without the support of all of the team who worked in some very trying conditions, especially in Paraguay with the torrential rain and wet conditions. It was really a pity that Peru was cancelled, as it is a great country and a wonderful place to race. Our focus is now on getting the cars ready for Dakar.”
South Racing was founded in 2013. Based near Frankfurt in Germany, the young, customer-driven team also has workshops in Portugal and has extensive experience of the Dakar Rally and rallying in South America.