Africa Eco Race Motorsports Media The Girl on a Bike in the Media

Bowler Motors: Works Driver, Vanessa Ruck, Triumphs In The Africa Eco Race 2024

As seen in The Bowler Motors: Vanessa Ruck, Bowler Works driver and 4th Place in the UK Championship of the Defender Rally Series for 2023, stepped up to a formidable new challenge for January 2024: the 13-day, 6000 km gruelling Africa Eco Race, on her KTM 450 Rally Replica motorbike.

She successfully completed the extreme endurance event, winning the award of 1st Woman in the Bike category, and in so doing became the first British Woman to complete the event.

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Renown in the motorcycle communities globally, Vanessa has shown admirable resilience by recovering from severe injury after a dramatic accident and taking up motorbike endurance racing, with progressively more difficult events over the years, building up her skills and strength.

Infamous for its difficulty, the intimidating Africa Eco Race was set in Vanessa’s mind as a pinnacle event to attempt to complete on a motorcycle. It has been exhilarating for her to not only achieve this, but also to be the first female motorcycle rider across the line. The Africa Eco Race features some of the harshest terrain in Morocco, Mauritania and Senegal. Making her accomplishment more notable, she achieved this while fighting through chronic pain, that she lives with and manages every day, since her accident back in 2014.

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As one of only 25 of the 46 riders in the Moto category in the 2024 event managing to complete the whole course, Vanessa spent over 74 hours tackling special stages and 103 hours in total on her bike.

Bowler were pleased to support her campaign by providing a Defender which towed her Motorbike support trailer, provided by Motorbike rally raid specialists Desert Rose Racing, headed up by former UK rally raid competitor Patsy Quick.

Bowler used their experience of Rally raid events to prepare the Defender by making some subtle enhancements to the car along with the addition of a second battery and split charge system to support Vanessa’s media team. In addition, Bowler and JLR experts ensured that Vanessa’s support team were prepared for the challenge ahead by providing vehicle familiarisation and off-road driver training, prior to the team heading out to the event. 

Bowler sends our heart-felt congratulations to Vanessa for her inspirational achievement and are delighted to have been able to play a small part in her success. Vanessa embodies the true character of Defender in every way, showing true strength & resilience in battling her way through unforgiving terrain to her destination.

What’s coming next? We look forward to seeing more of Vanessa as she joins us for the 2024 season of the Defender Rally Series.

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The driver teams in the Defender Rally Series typically have racing backgrounds in other disciplines, and as Vanessa had come to us from her motorbike racing, her ability to read the terrain and work out a pathway helped her significantly when learning to rally a car. By the end of 2023, Vanessa had transformed from a rally car driver beginner, to a competent and accomplished rally car driver, having earned multiple podium positions and 4th place overall in the UK Championship of the Defender Rally Series, along with an upgrade to a National Licence. This enables her to compete in rally car events internationally, where we look forward to seeing her in the European Baja Championship of the Defender Rally Series.

For the rest of The Bowler Motors article see here.

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding, Harleys and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life-changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on  InstagramFacebook, Tiktok and YouTube, and

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