The Project Idea
The project was initiated by Buggyra CEO and former European Truck Champion, Martin Koloc in reflection of the essential need of developing rally raid pilots, co-pilots, and team personnel in the real environment. “The Dakar, as the toughest rally raid in the world, offers an extremely unique personal development platform. Dakar veterans unanimously say that ‘you can get prepared for the Dakar only on the Dakar’. Therefore, Buggyra Academy took this idea forward toward the first test of a new educational program called the 2023 Dakar Classroom,” explains Martin Koloc.
Three trainees of the Buggyra Academy program, 21-year-old Frenchman Teo Calvet, 26-year-old Arnaud Aranthabe from France, and 30-year-old Mohamed Ali Ahmed from India are the lucky participants of the first edition of the Dakar classroom.
At his young age, Teo already looks back on an impressive career in Truck Racing. He is the 2021 French truck racing champion and this year’s winner of the European Truck Promoter’s Trophy. This year is his first time on the Dakar as he is aspiring to participate as a driver as soon as next year.
Arnaud has 10 years of co-driving in the French Rally Championship under his belt and he is set to become Teo’s navigator on the Dakar. 30-year-old Mohamed has been a member of the Buggyra Academy program since September 2022 and has a background in R&D engineering and big data analysis. It is his ambition to become a valuable part of a professional motorsport organization, working in engineering.
In addition, 18-year-old Aliyyah Koloc, also a member of the Buggyra Academy program, will start the 45th edition of the Dakar for the first time. She will have experienced French co-driver Stephane Duple by her side.
Experienced team of mentors
Aliyyah as well as all three trainees can draw upon the experience of a selected team of veteran Dakar participants and motorsport legends. Amongst them are Buggyra CEO and double European Truck Racing Champion Martin Koloc, experienced Czech racers David Vrsecky and Josef Kalina as well as the Czech Dakar legend Josef Machacek. Machacek will be driving the second Buggyra Can-Am entry after 18-year-old Yasmeen Koloc and twin sister of Aliyyah had to declare forfeit due to an injury.
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