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Juan Morera plans Dakar Classic defence in Porsche 959

The Porsche 959 is one of the most iconic vehicles to come out of the Dakar Rally‘s first decade, notably finishing 1–2 in 1986 with René Metge and Jacky Ickx. For the 2024 Dakar Classic, defending champion Juan Morera will pay tribute to that programme by driving a modified Porsche 959 for Momabikes Raid Team.

Morera raced a Toyota Land Cruiser HDJ80 alongside his wife Lidia Ruba Cuartero for the 2023 Classic, marking their second try at the race after piloting a Fiat Panda to a 106th overall finish in their début in 2022. Land Cruisers went on to dominate the Classic, with seven ultimately comprising the top ten and sweeping the podium; Morera won Stages #2 and #8 and recorded 428 total points, over 100 fewer than runner-up Carlos Santaolalla.

For 2024, Morera and Momabikes turned to Jérémy Athimon and his French Porsche restoration company Nantes Prestige Autos to put together a Porsche 959. Rather than using an already available year-accurate Porsche 959, the team will build the relevant parts on the base of a Porsche 964 C4.

Athimon competed in the 2023 Classic as the co-driver to Julien Texier in a Porsche 911 Martini, where they finished eighth overall. The 911 won the 1984 Dakar Rally with Metge and is such a renowned rally car from the 1970s and 1980s that Porsche has introduced a limited edition “911 Dakar” model for consumers.

“We want to pay tribute to the legendary PORSCHE 959 with which @jackyickxofficial competed in 1986,” posted Momabikes. “To do this we will start with the base of a 964 c4 and the project will be carried out at @nantesprestigeautos by Jérémy Athimon and his team. We will keep you posted on the progress of the project.”

Momabikes and Nantes Prestige Autos will also bring a second 959 to the 2024 Dakar Classic, which will likely be piloted by Texier but has not been confirmed.

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