Maria Luís Gameiro's debut with the Mini JCW T1+

14 abril 2024

The bp Ultimate Rally-Raid Portugal had several female drivers and also marked the debut of Maria Luís Gameiro with the latest Mini developed by X-Raid and assisted by M Racing. It was a tough race, which the Cascais driver overcame to finish in the top 10 of the Ultimate category.

The Automóvel Club de Portugal event had a strong turnout of female drivers, including the winner of the last Dakar in the Challenger category, the Spaniard Cristina Gutiérrez, who, unluckily, suffered an apparent accident and dropped out on Stage 1. But riders like Maria Luís Gameiro, Magdalena Zajac, Aliyyah Koloc, Dania Akeel, Puck Klaassen and Rebecca Busi also faced the challenge of the more than 1,000 kilometers of the bp Ultimate Rally-Raid Portugal.

Among these, the big news was the presence of Maria Luís Gameiro with the latest Mini John Cooper Works T1+ developed by X-Raid and assisted by M Racing.

The Cascais driver, who is still recovering from a fracture in her right hand suffered during a gym session, overcame the challenge with flying colors, achieving 10th place in the Ultimate category and 30th place in the overall standings.

"It was a big, big challenge for me. It was the first time I'd driven this car, especially in such a demanding race. We had a few setbacks, which are natural in racing, but I've been adapting well to the car and I noticed that my performance was improving stage by stage. The course was very nice and varied, but I have to confess that starting from a late position, like on the last day of the race, makes it even more demanding as the track is already very degraded. My head felt like a flipper inside the car!" said Maria Luís Gameiro, who was navigated by the experienced José Marques. "I'm very happy to have José Marques as my navigator again. My previous experience with him was very positive and I have no doubt that José was a fundamental help to the whole team," said Maria Luís Gameiro.

A few days after finishing the bp Ultimate Rally-Raid Portugal, Maria Luís Gameiro and José Marques headed to Spain to compete in the Jaen Mar de Olivos TT Rally, the opening event of the Spanish TT Rally Championship, where they placed 7th overall and 2nd in the Ultimate category.

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