Bahrain Raid Xtreme (BRX) will run a three car team at the 2022 Dakar in Saudi Arabia this January. Orlando Terranova will join Sebastien Loeb and Nani Roma as the team enters three Prodrive Hunter T1+ cars.
Experienced Argentinian driver, Terranova, competed with the BRX team alongside Loeb and Roma at Baja Aragon in Spain back in July in the Hunter T1 car, setting two fastest sector times, with Loeb collecting seven more out of a possible 11. All three will be joined by their current co-drivers with Fabian Lurquin alongside Loeb; Alex Haro with Roma and Dani Oliveras with Terranova.
The team is competing for outright victory on the Dakar and will be running on a new sustainable fuel, called Prodrive EcoPower, specially developed for the Hunter. The fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 80% compared to petrol, as it is made from generation 2 biofuel manufactured from agricultural waste and efuels created from carbon capture. It also conforms to the latest FIA regulations.
The team has already completed extensive testing of the Hunter T1+, built to the new 2022 regulations, and will carrying out further testing in the United Arab Emirates over the coming weeks focussed on endurance and navigational exercises, before heading to Saudi Arabia for the Dakar.
Both Loeb and Roma have tested the car, while Terranova will join them in Dubai to get several days in the Hunter in early December.
Loeb said: “I have a really good feeling in the new car. We have tested in all the different conditions we expect to see on the Dakar. With the new larger tyres, we were able to maintain our speed through the rough and rocky sections with much less risk of punctures. Fabian and I have several more days’ testing soon where we will spend a lot of time focussing on navigation, as this will once again be very important in Saudi.”
Roma said: “I have completed nearly 2000km in the new T1+ in Wales and in Dubai. With the new larger tyres, the car is able to cross terrain that the previous T1 would find difficult. However, it is larger and heavier with the same engine, so while we will be faster in some areas, we could be slower in others.”
Terranova said: “I have spoken to Nani and Seb and they have said how good the new T1+ feels and that despite its greater size and additional weight, it still feels just as easy to drive and is much better in the rocky conditions. I am looking forward to seeing the team again and beginning my preparations for my 17th Dakar.”
T1+ cars run on larger tyres, with increased suspension travel and a wider track. 37” tyres on 17” rims, replace the current 32” tyres on 16” rims, with suspension travel increased from 280mm to 350mm and the body width increased from 2m to 2.3m to accommodate this.
These changes have necessitated a radical redesign of the Hunter and Prodrive has used this as an opportunity to make further improvements, including a larger windscreen for improved visibility and a refinement of a number of systems throughout the car.