Victory on the final stage of the Dakar Rally 2024 has been taken today by Sébastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin as they utterly blitzed the opposition to win by over five minutes on a stage that wound its way along the shores of the Red Sea. It brings the duo their fifth stage win this year, the most of any crew on the rally, as they did everything they could to gain time upon second overall, but ultimately there were not quite enough kilometres left. The duo finish less than nine minutes off second as they take the third place medals home with them.
Loeb and Lurquin had nothing but speed on their minds today in order to see if they could knock on the door of second place overall. They rocketed through Stage 12 to take the victory by an amazing 5 minutes and 9 seconds over the second shortest stage of the entire event. For seasoned viewers, they could see with the naked eye that Loeb was absolutely flat out on the test.
For the Bahrain Raid Xtreme team, they achieved their third podium today from the four events they have competed in since the team first attacked the Dakar Rally in 2021. The team has also secured a fifth place before two second positions over the past three years. The Prodrive Hunter was first in the narrower ‘T1’ specification for 2021 before the wider stance and bigger wheels of the now ‘Ultimate’ category appeared in 2022. The Prodrive Hunter has now won 18 Dakar stages over the past three years with four different drivers setting the fastest times.
This year saw one of the hardest ever stages of the Dakar in recent times. The '48-hour Chrono' stage featured as a particular stand-out for the first time throught the middle of the vast expanse of the Empty Quarter, with dunes and traps set across an area the size of France. However, it was Loeb and Lurquin who came out victorious from this huge test of human and mechanical endurance, a massive accolade for the duo and the BRX team to receive. Small mishaps, glitches and several punctures eventually added up to make the battle for the win just a little bit too far out of reach as the finish beckoned, but third place on the Dakar is still something to be extremely proud of for the Prodrive lead team.
Sébastien Loeb - BRX
“It feels good to be at the podium, for sure, as after 15 days we wanted to fight for the victory, but we lost chances here and there as the Dakar threw us what Dakar always does as a surprise. Yesterday we thought we were going home, but then we were back in the rally and battling for the podium again. Honestly, we really couldn’t match with the Audis as they were very strong - managing the rally with three cars towards the end - so we don’t have any regrets. We tried hard, we lost one place yesterday, but at the end it’s good to be at the finish line.”
Gus Beteli, BRX Team Principal
“That was a very difficult Dakar but we’re relieved to be at the finish and on the podium even though we have a little bit of frustration for not winning as that is what we came here to do. The positive is that we won five stages with Seb this year, after the seven he won last year so we have the performance to win here with this car and with this team. It’s a great team of people who have always worked immensely hard for success and we see the result of that today with a third placed Dakar podium with the Prodrive Hunter today.”
David Richards, Prodrive Chariman
“Every year has been very different with the Bahrain Raid Xtreme Team and the support we’ve had from Bahrain to get to where we are today is quite extraordinary. Yes, we didn’t win overall, but we really showed we have the fastest car, the most sporting spirited team of people who don’t give up and that epitomises not only Prodrive, but the Bahrain nation as we’ve represented them in a true and faithful way. It has been a great experience.”
Stage 12 Result
Yanbu - Yanbu, 143 kms stage
1st Loeb/Lurquin Bahrain Raid Xtreme Prodrive Hunter
3rd Loeb/Lurquin Bahrain Raid Xtreme Prodrive Hunter +1h 29m
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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 to design and manufacture cars to compete in the Dakar Rally and World Rally Raid Championship. BRX achieved the best finishing position, 5th with Nani Roma on debut in 2021, and 2nd with Sebastien Loeb in both 2022 and 2023. Its Hunter cars run Prodrive EcoPower, a sustainable fuel made from agricultural waste. 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.