Dubai: Bahrain Raid Xtreme (BRX) has unveiled Nani Roma as its first driver joining the team to take on the 2021 Dakar Rally.
Spaniard Roma has previously won the Dakar Rally both on a bike and in a car and joins BRX with a wealth of experience that will prove invaluable as the team prepares for one of the biggest challenges in motorsport.
Roma has competed in 24 Dakar Rallies – not having missed an event since 1996. He competed for the first nine years on a bike, claiming victory in 2004, before switching disciplines to compete in cars – taking his second Dakar victory in 2014. This makes 48-year-old Roma one of only three people to ever win the Dakar on both two and four wheels.
BRX is the product of a joint venture between Mumtalakat, the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Bahrain and Prodrive, a leading British motorsport business.
Roma joins the team from German manufacturer team Borgward and has previously competed in the Dakar with Mini. His extensive experience in the iconic race has ensured the two-time Dakar champion understands the challenges that entering the Dakar Rally poses any team and its drivers. With the combined expertise of Roma and BRX, and the shared ambition for success, BRX continues to signal itself as a contender for the Dakar Rally title in 2021.
“The ambition from everyone involved in BRX is hugely exciting and I am looking forward to being part of the journey with the team. There is a huge amount of experience across so many areas of BRX, and to direct this towards challenging for success in the Dakar Rally is an opportunity I had to be part of,” Roma said.
“The combination of Mumtalakat’s heritage in supporting motorsports endeavours, and the expertise of David Richards and Prodrive, to build winning cars has all the signs of a real game changer within the Dakar Rally,” he added.
Spearheading BRX is David Richards, CBE, who will act as Team Director. As founder and Chairman of Prodrive, Richards has claimed six World Rally championship titles, five Le Mans wins and experience leading successful F1 teams. However, the Dakar Rally is the challenge he has yet to undertake. For the Kingdom of Bahrain, BRX is the nation’s latest foray in motorsport, becoming the exciting next chapter in its rich history in the sport.
“Nani is one of the most experienced Dakar drivers, having competed in the rally on 24 occasions, with outright wins on both a motorbike and in a car. He has already been working closely with Prodrive’s engineers to provide his valuable insight and over the coming months Nani will undertaking thousands of kilometres of testing in Europe and the Middle East,” Richards commented.
Roma will drive BRX’s bespoke Dakar Rally T1 car – a four-wheel drive car, powered by a 3.5 litre turbo-charged petrol V6 engine. The vehicle builds on Prodrive’s experience competing at the highest levels of world motorsport for over three decades and has been styled by Ian Callum, one of the world’s leading motorsport designers. Development of the car and engine has been underway at Prodrive since mid-2019, and the first car is expected to be revealed in the October 2020.