Ex-Spurs boss Villas-Boas quits post to race in 2018 Dakar Rally

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The Portuguese manager will join fellow petrolheads in racing across Peru, Bolivia and Argentina in the latest edition of the famous race

Andre Villas-Boas has revealed that he will swap his team-sheet for the steering wheel by racing in the 2018 Dakar Rally. 

The Portuguese manager has had terms at clubs like Tottenham, Chelsea and Zenit over the course of his career. Most recently, Villas-Boas had been managing Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG, but resigned from his post this week after losing in the country's FA Cup final to rivals Shanghai Shenhua. 

Now it appears he is leaving football to gear up for a greater challenge — running in the gruelling race over the new year. 

"I spoke with my friend Alex Doringer, the manager of the KTM team, who told me that I would still need a full year's preparation to get there [on a bike] and that it was better to consider doing it with a car," Villas-Boas said in quotes published by organisers ASO.

"So I got in touch with Team Overdrive [Toyota] and here I am!"

Villas-Boas will be driving in a Toyota Hilux alongside experienced co-pilot Ruben Faria. 

Faria, who came second in the bike category in the 2013 edition of the famous race, retired from competition last year but was drawn back by the prospect of working with the manager. 

"When Andre called me to propose that I join him, I had to think about it... for at least five seconds," Faria said.

"It is a great challenge and I think that we can put in a good Dakar, which means making it to the bivouac every night and not to arrive too late!"

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The 2018 Dakar Rally will take place in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina, beginning in Lima on January 6 and ending in Cordoba 14 days later. 

Traditionally run from Paris, France to Dakar, Senegal, the Rally is reckoned to be one of the most demanding motorsport races in the world. 

In 2009 the race was moved from its traditional home to South America, due to security concerns in Mauretania.

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