Orlando Terranova/Dani Oliveras have taken stage victory on the Dakar today with the Bahrain Raid Xtreme crew continuing to build their pace and prove they’re getting quicker and quicker as the team hits the half way point on the Dakar 2022. Over 348 kms of punishing terrain, the Prodrive Hunter took the advantage for its second win from six stages so far on the event and the second win for the sustainable Prodrive EcoPower fuel that’s made its debut on this Dakar, reducing CO2 emissions by 80%.
It was Terranova’s seventh stage win in 16 Dakars. It was also Dani Oliveras’s debut stage victory in a car. The result further cements the hard work of concept, design and testing behind the Prodrive Hunter rally raid car as it has taken its fifth top two result on the six stages of the 2022 Dakar, the opening round of the all new FIA World Rally-Raid Championship.
Two-time Dakar winner Nani Roma/Alex Haro also had speed through the desert with fifth in the stage around Riyadh coming home just 3min 34 secs back after over three hours of flat out running but the Spaniard is wise to the Dakar with 26 years’ experience and predicts the second half of the rally will be even harder than the first.
Sebastien Loeb/Fabian Lurquin remain inside the top three overall after losing time at a tricky navigational turn on today’s stage. As frustrating as that was, the Frenchman powered flat out through the remaining 250 kms clawing back time before he re-sets on the rest day tomorrow when BRX team will rebuild the cars for the remainder of the rally that holds a further 2,179 kms before the return to Jeddah, a distance that is similar as driving from Paris to Casablanca.
Orlando Terranova said: “It was a very nice stage, difficult in places but easier in others as the tracks of the bike from yesterday made it easier but we kept our concentration and the speed. It was not easy to overtake some guys as it was fast for all but at the halfway point we felt we were doing well so we decided to attack in the second part of the stage, but the dunes were not easy as they were soft for the first time this year. Towards the end the navigation was very hard because there were so many tracks but it all worked well because for the first time since 2015 we have a stage victory and it feels fantastic. The car is fabulous; there is still a long way to go so it’s still open as Seb can do a good job while we can push, but without any mistakes or trouble we can make a good result.”
Sebastien Loeb said: “Yes it was a complicated day. We got lost after 100 kms and we lost some time after that. We tried to push and close the gap so even though we had good speed and great pace over the stage we lost too much time earlier. There is still a long way to go now. We are only half way through this rally so we will continue to push and do some good stages all the way back to Jeddah. The car is strong and fast underneath me and as we’ve seen from Orlando and Dani today winning the stage proving again there is much more to come from the Prodrive Hunter. Bravo to those guys.”
Nani Roma said: “It was good to be honest. No mistakes by driving safely through the rocky areas with no punctures either but we are constantly improving the car to learn the Hunter as it’s so nice to drive. We really did take a normal speed through the kilometres but this second week ahead will be much harder than the first as we are going over some ground we did last year. It won’t be easy for everyone but we’re confident for these days ahead.”
Gus Beteli, BRX team principal said: “Another win in the bag! A very positive day taking the second win for the BRX team. Orlando and Dani have taken a stage win after Seb’s plus the three second places that Seb took so we’re very happy with the reliability and the performance of the car. Nani and Alex had a very good run as well with fifth place but unfortunately Seb and Fabian lost a little bit of time today with navigation but managed to get back some times towards the end in the dunes by driving very well to cut their losses. We’re halfway now with the rest day tomorrow but we are still looking to fight for the win.”