Audi will line up Stéphane Peterhansel, Carlos Sainz and Mattias Ekström for its Dakar debut with a hybrid 4×4 prototype subsequent January. The model with the rings is embarking on a brand new progressive problem and has determined to offer itself the means to succeed by constructing a line-up that can undoubtedly be envied by the competitors. The three males can be accountable for creating the automotive powered by an electrical powertrain and on which the German producer has been working for greater than a yr with Q Motorsport, an entity headed by Sven Quandt, additionally boss of X-raid. It’s exactly on this staff that Peterhansel and Sainz have performed in current seasons.
“It’s no exaggeration to talk of a dream staff”, says Julius Seebach, CEO of Audi Sport. “Stéphane is essentially the most victorious driver of all time on the Dakar. Carlos has received it a number of occasions and he’s World Rally Champion. With Mattias, we now have already celebrated many successes for Audi up to now. C he is likely one of the most versatile riders on this planet. Along with being very quick, all of them deliver numerous expertise and motivation to our staff. The identical goes for his or her co-pilots, who play an extra position. extra essential on the Dakar. “
In ten years, everybody can be driving electrical vehicles. The Dakar is an excessive take a look at for this expertise.
Peterhansel will all the time be supported by Édouard Boulanger, with whom he received his 14th Dakar this yr in Saudi Arabia. The 2 males hope to change into the primary to win on the most important rally-raid on this planet on the wheel of a hybrid automotive.
“The Dakar is likely one of the final adventures on this world”, says Peterhansel. “And it’s on the cusp of a radical change: the long run is electrical. In ten years, everybody can be driving electrical vehicles. The Dakar is an excessive take a look at for this expertise. We need to be the primary staff to win the Dakar with an electrical motor. I can not wait to embark on this very formidable undertaking with Audi. “
For his half, Carlos Sainz will all the time rely on the skilled Lucas Cruz by his facet, the 2 males having received three Dakar collectively. The Spaniard is aware of the technical problem is immense however his improvement expertise will show invaluable.
“Even at 59, I am nonetheless hungry, in any other case I would not take up this new problem”, he insists. “Even small, it was my dream to change into a rally driver. My ardour is undamaged. The Audi Quattro has modified the WRC endlessly. Now we try to do the identical on the Dakar. Engineers have much more to do with it. freedom on the Dakar than in different disciplines. I’ve full confidence within the Audi engineers and can attempt to assist them with my expertise to develop a quick and victorious automotive. The Dakar is the final word problem for an electrical powertrain. is a improbable and excessive undertaking. I can not wait to check the automotive for the primary time. What I’ve seen to this point offers me confidence. “
Double DTM Champion (2004 and 2007) and in addition World Rallycross Champion (2016), Mattias Ekström can be assisted by Emil Bergkvist, WRC Junior Champion in 2018. Each made their debut on the Dakar this yr within the class T3, pressured to retire through the seventh stage.
“The Dakar will actually be one of the vital thrilling adventures of my profession”, he assures. “It is improbable to have the ability to embark on this thrilling undertaking with the staff that allowed me to have a good time my biggest successes. Regardless that I am turning 43 this yr, I really feel like a junior. in comparison with Carlos and Stéphane. On this sport you want numerous expertise in all areas. I nonetheless have rather a lot to be taught however I can not wait to be there. “
Audi plans to debut its automotive on the Goodwood Pageant of Velocity, July Eight-11, earlier than embarking on an intensive testing program over the summer time. The target is to interact in competitors earlier than the Dakar 2022, however the calendar shouldn’t be but exactly established and can rely upon the progress of the undertaking.