Performance tuner: Overdrive racing
Assistance: Overdrive racing
Class: T1+ FIA
2023: 19th overall
Zi Yunliang will be the latest Chinese driver to get to grips with the world's toughest rally at Dakar 2023. It is likely to be quite a step up for the 49-year-old, who has only taken part in minor events in China since following his younger brothers into offroad racing. Zi will be lining up as part of the ambitious BAIC ORV team, who represent the state-owned Beijing Automotive Group (one of China's biggest car manufacturers). BAIC managed to get all three of their cars into the top 15 at Dakar 2021, but were limited to a single entrant in 2022 due to the pandemic: Guoyu Zhang, who finished down in 51st place after a series of problems and mechanicals. Undeterred, the team has returned in 2023 with two upgraded T1+ vehicles that should help them fight with some of the best in the business. Zi will be joined in his BJ40 by experienced co-driver He Sha, who guided Guoyu to 14th place two years ago. Guoyu himself will compete alongside French rally-raid legend Jean-Pierre Garcin, who first did the Dakar back in 1997! Zi describes the rally as a ‘pilgrimage’, and says he is delighted to be making his debut this year. Having picked up plenty of useful tips from his more experienced teammates, he's looking to make it a successful first outing by reaching the finish line in Dammam.