The news is now official: Eric Vigouroux will not compete in the next Dakar as a pilot… but as a Team manager of his own EVR team! To replace him behind the wheel of his brand new Chevrolet Colorado prototype, Eric Vigouroux chose another major name in the discipline: Guerlain Chicherit!
“It is a rather late decision, but it’s without doubt the best one for Dakar 2014” explains Eric Vigouroux. “This year has been very busy for me with the conception and construction of these two news prototypes in collaboration with Jefferies Racing. I haven’t got much time to prepare myself to this very demanding race, so when the opportunity to put Guerlain behind the wheel showed up, I did not hesitate a single second. With Guerlain Chicherit and BJ Baldwin, my EVR buggys are in excellent hands!”
“As a Team manager of the EVR team, I’m head of a 50% American – 50% French team. I have managed an international business before and I know how important cohesion between people is for goals to be reached. In this particular context, being a Team Manager fits me pretty well, until I’m back behind the wheel again for different international FIA races with Dakar 2015 staying as my ultimate target”.
Eric Vigouroux to add « Of course, there is a little frustration for not being the pilot myself, but I’d rather guarantee the team’s future. In March, I started with nothing; today I’m able to line up two brand new buggys with high level crews on the biggest off-road race of the world. So that definitely helps.”
Guerlain Chicherit to add «Last June I lost my main financial sponsor on the Dakar. Since then, I’ve been fighting for a wheel on the 2014 Dakar. It was not easy, but it was just impossible for me to stay at home. Dakar is in my blood. It’s true I didn’t train much, but my motivation has never been higher. So I’ll go easy until the third special to find my bearings again. But then after, I will give it all. I am convinced this car will be able to shine starting this year!
TEAM Eric Vigouroux Racing (EVR)
Two advanced technology vehicles in the starting block of Dakar 2014
#320 – Buggy driven by Guerlain Chicherit
FIA Rally Raid Champion in 2009. Dakar pilot since 2005 (5 times in the top 10, once in 5th position, winning 7 specials). Arrived 8th on Dakar 2013.
#318 – Buggy driven by BJ Baldwin
Rising star of the US Off-road, champion of the last two editions of the Baja 1000. With more than 500 participations in sand races, BJ Baldwin will fiercely fight to finish in the top 10 of 2014 Dakar.