American off-road and rally racer Bryce Menzies has been forced to withdraw from the 2017 Dakar Rally as a result of a kneecap injury suffered during a long-jump world record attempt in August.
Menzies crashed his Pro2 truck in a practice run but still managed to blow past the world record with a training jump of 379.2 feet over a New Mexico ghost town – besting the previous record at 332 feet. He was unable to complete the live event, due to his injuries and crash damage to the truck. When he crashed in one of the final training jumps, he fractured his shoulder and hurt his knees, both of which required surgeries – one, in his words, “to put my shoulder back together.”
“I am beyond disappointed to have to withdraw from starting this year’s Dakar,” Menzies said. “It has been a lifelong goal of mine that will have to wait another year before I can attempt. I knew it would it be tough to get back to 100% after my injuries from the world record New Frontier jump and unfortunately I just couldn’t get to a point where I’d be both comfortable in the car for that long and technically able to compete at the level warranted to win. It also wasn’t worth re-injuring anything and then being out for the more races this season.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of my MINI later this year as we put in the homework needed to get ready for 2018 Dakar. I also want to say a special thank you to Sven Quandt at X Raid for sticking with me as I overcome this injury and Helmut Wahl at Red Bull and Carrie Woodward at BFGoodrich for continuing to support my rally efforts.”
His MINI John Cooper Works Rally team, run by X-Raid, will turn to Argentinean Orlando Terranova and his German navigator Andreas Schulz. Terranova finished fifth for Team X-raid at the Dakar rallies in 2013 and 2014 and will drive for the first time next to Schulz, who won the Dakar Rally in 2001 and 2003. New to the team are Brazilians Sylvio de Barros and Rafael Capoani.
Menzies announced in August that he would not contest the rest of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series season in 2016. He had scored three Pro4 wins and two wins in Pro2.