Thibaut Courtois (31) is serious about TC Racing. The Real Madrid goalkeeper’s racing team is on track to compete in Formula 4 this season, and will almost certainly be at the start of the 2024 Dakar Rally in a buggy. Sidecars) are known: In addition to the Argentine co-pilot Ricardo Torlaci (38 years old), who knows the Dakar, will be the Spanish Cristine Giampaoli (30 years old).
During the difficult rehabilitation process he endured on his knee, Courtois did not sit still. His dream of being in Formula 4 with TC Racing is starting to take shape. The Royal Spanish Automobile Federation allows him to enter two cars in the Spanish Formula 4 Championship. It is a championship established by the International Automobile Federation in 2014 with the aim of facilitating the transition of young drivers from karting to the world of racing. In December, TC Racing will put its cars through their first tests in the Spanish F4 Championship.
But the racing fanatic in Courtois wants more. He enters the next Dakar Rally, which takes place between January 5 and 19 and will be held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the fifth time in a row. TC Racing has a catchy name: Christine Giampaoli, known in the off-road world as Christine GZ.
Spaniard Giampaoli was born in India, but grew up between Italy and Gran Canaria. It began its career in 2014 in the Spanish Gravel Rally Championship and is currently in its third season in Extreme E, the first electric SUV category in which Carlos Sainz (two-time World Rally Champion and three-time Dakar winner) has also competed. Just like nine-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb.
In addition, Giampaoli has already been at the start of the famous American Baja 1000 and in several World Cup cross-country races, such as the Rally of Andalusia, where she finished third in the T2 (4×4 series) in her debut in 2020. It is therefore not surprising that The Dakar would be Giampaoli’s ultimate dream. Which will become a reality in January thanks to Courtois’ team.
In addition to Giampaoli, the TC Racing team will include Dakar co-driver Riccardo Torlaski, who already owns the legendary Dakar badge, which is only awarded after ten starts. Torlaski is a three-time Argentine rally champion and finished in the top eight in the SSV class at the 2023 Dakar, as co-driver with Ecuadorian Sebastian Guayasamin. Together they must provide the perfect combination of youthful enthusiasm and experienced knowledge. Undoubtedly, TC is their biggest supporter.
The SSV class is increasingly popular
Riders compete across seven categories at each Dakar: motorcycles, cars, trucks, light prototypes, SSVs (side-by-side vehicles), ATVs and classics.
SSV is a category that saw the light in 2017 and has quickly emerged as one of the most successful and exciting categories, with more and more participants. From 2023, the Dakar SSV will consist of two classes, T3 and T4. In the first category you can make changes to prototypes that ensure better performance. T4 is only for series models. TC Racing is registered in the latter category.
Either way, power is limited to a ceiling of 180 hp, including turbocharged ones. SSVs are lightweight, weighing in at around 800 kilograms. They have a multi-tube chassis and high-performance suspension to overcome the most demanding obstacles.
Thibaut Courtois starts his own team and looks to the future: “I dream of a world title with the Deweyvilles and I want to end his career at Real Madrid”
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