Sonora Rally Record Entry

More Competition | More Action

This year Yokohama Sonora Rally will see a record number of competitors tackle North America’s premier rally raid. With entries from Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, the US and Mexico, Sonora Rally has reached its entry cap of 50 with a record number of “Road to Dakar” challengers at 18. This year, for the first time, the rally will expand to the municipality of Hermosillo, the capital of the state of Sonora. Follow daily updates on social media and Mexico’s TV Azteca.

Sonora Rally is honored, once again, to have been chosen as an official “Road to Dakar” event. The First Place motorcycle rider on the Road to Dakar class will win a fully paid entry into the 2019 Dakar Rally. Last years Dakar Challenge winner, Mark Samuels, and runner-up Andrew Short both had impressive runs at this year’s Dakar.

“Going to Dakar in 2018, Sonora Rally was a big benefit with preparation and learning how to truly navigate. Sonora Rally is by far the best experience I could have had in North America for Adventure Rally”, says Mark Samuels. Andrew Short saying after the Dakar “I really enjoyed Sonora Rally last year, it is what fueled this addiction”.

Rally Director Darren Skilton says, “Participating in 10 Dakar Rallies, I have developed a good feel for what makes a rally raid an unforgettable adventure. My team and I have made it our mission to lay out special stages with an authentic and true taste of Dakar. We have been proven a great training ground for those with Dakar in their dreams and the “Road to Dakar” is a great way for racers to be given the opportunity to shine on the world stage.” With a record of 18 Road to Dakar entries, this year’s competition is sure to be hot. For full rules and regulations for this year’s Road to Dakar please click here:


This year’s roster will include Sonora Rally defending 4 wheel champs Eric Pucelik and Mike Shirley. They are returning to battle rally veterans Todd and Kyle Jergensen and 2016 winner Dave Sykes. Leading the group of new faces on Sonora Rally is Casey Currie at the wheel of his Can-Am and one of North America’s most experienced rally navigators, Kellon Walch, will get behind the wheel of a Menzies Motorsports prepared UTV.

Making his debut to Sonora Rally is racing LEGEND WALKER EVANS in the UTV class. Walker has won the Baja 1000 nine times and was the first in off-road racing history to win it overall, in a truck. His other multiple victories include the Mint 400, Parker 400 and Baja 500. In 2015, Walker was inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. We are honored to have him racing with us in Sonora and are excited to watch this year’s UTV class battle it out for the win!

Yokohama’s Event and Sponsorship Manager, Melissa Eickhoff, will be entered in the Safari Class (more adventure than race), driving a 2015 Jeep Wrangler Sahara on Geolandar M/T G003 35X12.50R17 tires. As a three-time navigator at the NORRA Mexican 1000 (2x first and a third in class) and a second in class at the Mint 400, Melissa isn’t new to racing. However, she is new to Dakar Style navigation and the dunes of Sonora, and her co-driver, Sydney Olson, is a first-time motorsport anything. Melissa asked Sydney, a Team Yokohama sponsored Professional Parkour and Freerunning Athlete, to adventure with her to help create content and do Parkour in a new environment. “Sydney and Yokohama Geolandar tires are a natural fit. Parkour athletes and our Geolandar tires get out there! The Sonora Rally Safari Class is a perfect place for both Sydney and our tires to showcase the terrain and amazing places that you can go, all while expanding our definition of adventure with a “Go Strong” attitude. Sydney is a perfect choice!” says Melissa Eickhoff. Follow their adventure on and social media.

The bike category looks wide open this year with 2016 runner-up and Dakar veteran Scott Bright who will be making his return to Sonora, along with the Pearson brothers Jim and David. Sonora Rally veteran Garrett Poucher and newcomer Skyler Howes will have their sights set on the Road to Dakar prize. They will have challenges from all North America, including Radek Burkat from Canada and Carlos Gracida from Guadalajara, Mexico. Also, gunning for the Dakar prize is rider Akihiro Saito from Yokohama, Japan and from Hong Kong Jason Lan.

Source: Sonora Rally Record Entry