The following is a press release from KTM North America:
KTM North America, Inc. today announced the selection of 37-year-old Casey McCoy as the third member of the Red Bull KTM U.S. Dakar Team. Following a nationwide talent search that began on July 12th with the official introduction of the team at Laguna Seca, over 36 applications were received from across the United States. Casey was selected due to his extensive Rally experience having competed in Six Australian Safari Rallies, finishing all of them, once as high as second overall.
Red Bull KTM U.S. Dakar Team Manager Scot Harden commented, "This was an extremely tough decision. We never imagined that so many qualified riders would apply. It sure shows how popular the Dakar Rally has become in America. In the end, we selected what we felt was the strongest applicant from the field. The fact that Casey has as much, or more Rally experience than any other American, on top of his finish record gave us the confidence that he was the best choice for the team."
For McCoy being selected is the opportunity of a lifetime. "I've dreamed of doing Dakar for many years. To get this opportunity means everything. To team with Larry and Paul, and to have such great support from Red Bull and KTM means that we have the tools to get the job done. I'm really looking forward to representing the U.S. come this January."
Testing and training for the team has already started and will continue through the fall of 2003. Casey will race with Larry, Paul and team manager, Scot Harden in the Baja 1000 in November as a practice run on the new 950 Rally. Immediately following the Baja 1000 the team will head to Tunisia for 10 days of testing under actual Rally conditions.
Final preparations will take place in December 2003 before heading to Paris for the start of the Rally on January 1st.