Could Second-Generation Biofuels Take First Place at Dakar 2023?
Bahrain Raid Xtreme (BRX) and bespoke fuel specialist Coryton are teaming up again for Dakar 2023, hoping to take prime position in one of the world’s most gruelling races and break new boundaries for sustainable fuels.
The pioneering partnership first joined forces for Dakar 2022 to develop a bespoke blend of Coryton’s SUSTAIN fuel. This saw BRX become the first major motorsport team to compete with a new generation of advanced sustainable fuels and claim second and fourth place in the race whilst doing so.
In January, BRX’s Prodrive Hunter cars will dive back into the dunes of Saudi Arabia, and this time the team is going for gold. Having already celebrated two FIA World Rally Raid Championship victories in Spain and Morocco this Autumn, alongside an array of other recent wins, it looks perfectly placed for another great result.
Stretching from the beaches of the Red Sea to the sands of the Arabian Gulf in Dammam, the Dakar route includes mountains and more to test the vehicles with 14 stages to complete in just over two weeks. The route will feature 70% new tracks, less liaison, and 5,000 kilometres of special stages. Organizers have warned it is longer, more difficult and with more dunes than previous years.
The cars will be powered by a bespoke blend of second-generation biofuel, called Prodrive EcoPower. Developed by Coryton, as part of its SUSTAIN fuel product line, it offers an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to equivalent petrol.
The fuel meets the latest FIA regulations and has been specifically developed to demonstrate the environmental benefits of the latest sustainable fuel technology. The main components are generation 2 biofuel manufactured from agricultural waste and efuels created from carbon capture.
Andrew Willson, CEO at Coryton, said:
“We were delighted with last year’s result, and we look forward to seeing the team take on Dakar’s new 2023 itinerary.
“Last year, BRX became the first major team to compete in Dakar with sustainable fuel. This year, we want to take first place in the race too. Having seen what the team, vehicles and fuel have already achieved working together in the past year, we think that’s entirely possible.
“With every major milestone we reach, we’re proving the performance and demonstrating the climate benefits that sustainable fuels provide. We’re also getting one step closer to a better future, not just for motorsports but for the entire transport industry.”
Since partnering with Coryton in 2022, BRX has used EcoPower fuel in numerous tests and rallies across the world. The fuel is also used in Prodrive’s GCK vehicles that are performing equally well in a range of racing events.
Gus Beteli, BRX Team Principal, said:
“It’s exciting to continue our partnership with Coryton into 2023 and we go to Dakar with high hopes, having won the last two rounds of this year’s World Championship.
“This year, we’ve expanded to a four-car squad to give us the best chance of success, but our competition will be stronger than ever before. So, technical collaborations like the one we’ve formed with Coryton are key to gaining an advantage. Thanks to this partnership, our four-car team is producing less emissions than just one car running on normal gasoline. And that’s a fantastic achievement to be celebrating too!”
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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.