Can-Am Factory South Racing
2020: 8th (2nd rookie)
2020: Qatar Cross-Country Rally (Ab.), Vegas to Reno (17th)
2019: SCORE International (3rd); San Felipe 250 (1st), Baja 500 (4th), Baja 400 (4th), Silk Way Rally (5th)
2018: Parker 425 (1st), SCORE International (1st); San Felipe 250 (2nd), Baja 500 (1st), Baja 1000 (1st), Baja Aragon
The ‘kings’ still on their throne
The talented American is still only 25 years old, yet off-road racing runs in Austin's blood; his father Jesse has been competing in desert events for the past 20 years and runs the Jones Motorsport team. ‘AJ’ as he’s known on the bivouac, therefore spent his childhood learning the ins and outs of racing, although it was only in 2018 that he got behind the wheel himself, after spending a year as his dad's co-driver. In his first full season, Austin teamed up with Bryce Swaim and they took the SCORE International championship by storm, claiming victories at the Baja 500 and Baja 1000 in the Trophy Truck Spec class. Austin took his first steps in rally-raid towards the end of 2018 by entering the Rallye du Maroc. Second on the 2021 Dakar, he followed that up by competing in the World Cup for Cross Country Rallies, taking three wins, including the final in Abu Dhabi which gave him his first world title. The Monster Energy Can-Am official went on to win his first Dakar, following in the footsteps of his compatriot Casey Currie. The American can continue to count on his Brazilian co-driver's even more impressive record of achievements. Gustavo Gugelmin has six Dakars under his belt. In 2018, with his compatriot Reinaldo Varela, he won the SSV category and followed that by winning the 2019 world cup in their category. Ten years ago, the Brazilian won the FIA World Cup in the T2 category. The driver from Phoenix could well offer his co-driver a fourth world title if he manages to repeat his 2021 season. But on the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Mareck Goczal and Rokas Baciuska stole the show, closing the gap between them in the provisional standings. The Can-Am South Racing officials nevertheless retained their first place. But with 122 points on the clock, "AJ" and Gustavo only have a 4-point lead on the Pole and 15 points on the Lithuanian. In order to keep their leadership status, Jones and Gugelmin will certainly have to do better than 6 th place on the 2021 Rally du Maroc 2021.