«Autolife Team», the fist crew from Cyprus to have represented our country at the Dakar Rally is ready to conquer new summits and to please motorsport lovers with a full package of thrilling moments.
After successfully competing in the 2017 edition of the Dakar Rally (45th place in the Car Category), the team has been laying low for two years and contemplating future challenges. This spring Roman Starikovich (Pilot, Cyprus) and Bert Heskes (Co-Pilot, The Netherlands) return with a recognisable brand, updated line-up, brand new racing vehicle and an even bigger ambition.
With Rally Raid’s Dessert Warrior (team’s previous car) donated to the Cyprus Motor Museum, «Autolife Team» settled for one of the top-performing cross-country vehicles on the market. All hail Toyota Hilux Overdrive, a 350hp monster with a V8 5 litre engine. Custom-designed by the Belgian bureau “Overdrive Racing” and assembled in South Africa using the hull and outline of the legendary Toyota Hilux pick-up, vehicles of this type proved themselves to be high-achievers, regularly employed by some of the top 20 Dakar racing teams. Finally, in 2019 Nasser Al-Attiyah claimed his personal third and Toyota’s historical fist Dakar title. Thus, «Autolife Team» had acquired a really valuable asset that has been rebranded in accordance with the traditional black-and-yellow colour scheme which coupled with the car’s loudness, power and resilience led to the crew dubbing it “The Mighty Bumblebeast”.
Aside from a fresh car, the team now features a new black-and-yellow logo, depicting the fictionalised superhero racer Bumbleman. The logo is memorable and audience-friendly highlighting creativity and sportsmanship «Autolife Team» is famous for.
As the line up’s concerned the team is still led by Roman Starikovich and his second in command Bert Heskes, with Stephanos Melikidis and Vasily Papkovskiy retaining their roles as media and marketing managers respectively. Maksim Egorenkov has taken a position of a new team manager and Autolife garage mechanics are providing full technical assistance and support. While abroad the team will be joined by their long-time collaborator, Argentinean photographer Maira Peirce as well as new additions to the technical crew – Roman Tsurkan and Krzysztof Pindela. Despite featuring professionals with multi-national backgrounds, «Autolife Team» is based in Cyprus and competes under Cypriot flag, focusing on promoting the positive image of our island on the global stage.
Within the next three years «Autolife Team» is expected to tackle many renown international races, including the likes of: Silk Way Rally, Eco Africa, Abu Dhabi Dessert Challenge, Baja Aragon and many others. Yet, the first stop on this longsome and challenging ride will be Rally Greece Off-Road 2019, that will take place within 6-9 June in Kastoria, a fishing town located in the West Macedonia region of the country. Rally Greece Off-Road was founded in 2013 and since then has become one of the biggest motorsport events held in Europe. For 3 days more than 40 teams from Greece, France, Italy, Israel, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Serbia and of course «Autolife Team» from Cyprus will be clashing against each other amidst breathtakingly picturesque terrain of mountainous Greece. This year’s edition will see 500 kilometres of special stages, will be attended by dozens of journalists and covered by all major Greek sports channels and news portals, with videos, photos and press-releases being distributed internationally.
Rally Greece Off-Road 2019 will act as the principal rehearsal before the next big chapter in the team’s history – The Dakar Rally 2020 in Saudi Arabia.
The team would like to thank their Platinum Partners: «RoboMarkets», their Golden Partners: «ReLux Estates» and «Orpheus Group».
Feel free to like and follow the team’s pages on Facebook (Autolife Dakar) and Instagram (@autolife_dakar).
The outtakes from Rally Greece will be broadcasted by Primetel TV and 7Sports TV.
Get behind Cyprus, support «Autolife Team» at Rally Greece Off-Road 2019!