Three-time Dakar winner Marc Coma will team with Kurt Caselli, Mike Brown and Ivan Ramirez in the Tecate SCORE Baja 500 in Ensenada, Mexico, June 3-5.
Coma announced earlier this week that he would be taking part in the event for the first time, but made no mention of who his teammates would be. He will be replacing Quinn Cody who is still out with injury.
Coma and Co will ride for the Factory FMF/Bonanza Plumbing/KTM/Baja Team in what will be the Spaniard’s Baja debut.
In addition to winning this year’s Dakar Rally, Coma has also won the first two of four rallies in the 2012 Cross Country Rally World Championship after taking victory in the Dubai Desert Challenge and the new Qatar Sealine Rally.
“The idea of one day participating in this rally has always excited me,” said Coma in a team release. “This is an event that isn’t so well known in Europe, but it is one of the most important off-road challenges around. I don’t want to let another opportunity like this go to waste. After so many seasons riding I am spurred on by the desire to do new things, and an event like this is hugely motivating.”
KTM team manager Antti Kallonen is looking forward to having Coma in the squad.
“We needed an additional rider for our team after Cody was injured earlier this season,” stated Kallonen. “We are very excited to announce that our search brought one of the most gifted and well-decorated rally racers of our time, Marc Coma.”
The team is a solid one. Caselli, the reigning AMA National Hare & Hound and WORCS Champion, is known for his desert racing skills and will be the starting rider. Second off will be Brown, who has an extensive background in both motocross and Supercross before transitioning to off-road racing five years ago. The Baja 500 will be Brown’s second SCORE event. Returning to the 7X team is Mexico native Ivan Ramirez. The popular Mexican rider is well known in the SCORE/Baja events and he teamed with Caselli to earn victory in the Baja 250 that was held earlier this year.