Sebastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin today speared through the 284 kilometres of stage three of the Andalucia Rally to dramatically turn around an 11 minute 16 second deficit to arch rival Nasser Al-Attiyah to now hold a 28 second advantage and the overall lead of the rally. Taking the stage victory too by nearly five minutes it was once again a true reflection of the speed that Loeb has with the Prodrive Hunter whatever the terrain.
Guerlain Chicherit with Alex Winocq were a brilliant third on the test even though they had a windscreen smashed similar to Loeb with low hanging branches in the forests around Seville causing many a similar fate. Their visibility was hampered at times necessitating them to get out mid stage to clear the screen in order to continue on a taxing day so it was more a case of what could have been, but third is still more than solid all things considered.
The Prodrive Hunters returned to service this evening with more mud on them that they were designed for but after an immediate wash over by the technicians, the crews look forward to the final day in the 2022 FIA World Rally Raid Championship tomorrow.
Bahrain Raid Xtreme
Stage winner and first overall
“I was hoping to have a good day as this kind of stage suits my driving with many corners so I had the frame of mind to attack the stage like WRC so sure, I was trying hard in the Hunter. I took some time to catch Yazeed but I caught Nasser first so that was good news for us in the car! I then kept the same rhythm to the end driving as fast as possible to get as big a gap as we could. We only had one mistake so we turned around quickly and also no punctures so it was a great day.”
“Some days are good but this wasn’t quite there today as we had some problem with the windscreen wipers so we had to stop in the stage to clear the mud off the screen which was pretty crazy. Then the screen got smashed with a low branch to make it one of those days but we’re here in one piece and I thank the guys for being immediately on the car to make it better again for tomorrow.”
Bahrain Raid Xtreme Team Principal
“That was a very good result indeed. Seb had a great day managing to get the gap back that we lost on the first day to lead overall now with our Prodrive Hunter. Guerlain had a good run to finish third but not without it’s ups and downs so that means Prodrive Hunters are first and third overall with one stage to go.”
GCK Motorsport Team Manager
“Congratulations to Seb today; that was a masterclass so well done to him and Fabian as that’s so good for Prodrive to confirm the speed of the car over another type of terrain. Really great to see. For us we lost a bit of time overall with a tough day inside the car but it was a tough stage. That’s rally raid.”
Overall after Stage 3 of 4
1 Loeb/Lurquin Prodrive Hunter
2 Al-Attiyah/Baumel Toyota +28 secs
2 Al Rajhi/Von Zitzewitz Toyota +2m 20secs
4 Chicherit/Winocq Prodrive Hunter +11m 16secs
5 De Mevius/Cazalet T3 +20m 37secs
- ENDS -
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NOTES TO EDITORS
About Bahrain Raid Xtreme
A joint partnership between the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and Prodrive the British motorsport and engineering group formed the joint venture Prodrive International in 2020. Building on Prodrive’s extensive experience in developing championship winning race and rally cars, its aim is design and manufacture cars to compete in the Dakar Rally and World Rally Raid Championship. BRX achieved the best finishing position, 5 with Nani Roma on debut in 2021, and 2 with Sebastien Loeb in 2021. Its Hunter cars run Prodrive EcoPower, a sustainable fuel made from agricultural waste by BRX team partner Coryton. The fuel reduces CO2 emissions by 80% compared to standard fuel.
Prodrive is one of the world’s largest and most successful motorsport and technology businesses. Over 500 staff are employed across its Banbury headquarters and composites manufacturing facility in Milton Keynes. While the company is perhaps best known for motorsport, today it is just one part of an organisation that in the last decade has diversified to become a technology business working in a range of sectors and providing a range of services. Within the Prodrive Group, there are four distinct but interconnected business areas: Motorsport, operating race and rally programmes for vehicle manufacturers and global brands; Advanced Technology, providing innovative technology for the automotive, aerospace, defence, and marine sectors; Composites, developing lightweight composite components for the automotive, aerospace and marine sectors; and Brand& developing bespoke clothing and accessories for leading brands.
About Guerlain Chicherit
Born on 20 May 1978, Guerlain Chicherit made a name for himself in the 2000s as four-time freeride ski world champion. In 2005 he finished 49th in his first Dakar rally. The following year he climbed 40 places, and was fifth in 2020, his best result so far, including a stage win. In 2009 he won the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup, taking the Desert Challenge in Abu Dhabi and the Transibérico along the way. After a six-year hiatus, he came back with his own outfit – GCK Motorsport – and a plan to win the Dakar with a zero-emission hydrogen-powered vehicle by 2027.
About GCK Motorsport
Founded in 2017 by Guerlain Chicherit, GCK Motorsport showed excellent potential from the start with several podium places in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. In 2020 the team joined Green Corp Konnection (GCK), a group of industrial companies promoting innovative technologies for greener mobility. The racing arm of the group is a test bed for the ground-breaking solutions, serving to prove their reliability and high-performance in gruelling real-life conditions. One of the group’s targets is to be the first to win the Dakar with a hydrogen-powered car.