The brutal nature of the Dakar lived up to its name again today with Sébastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin losing precious time today after three punctures on the third stage. With only two spare tyres permitted to be carried by each car it meant that they had to repair an already damaged tyre only for it to keep losing pressure. This was frustrating as the pace of the Prodrive Hunter was there for all to see across the tracks and the rocky mountain passes.
In all, 23 minutes was lost due to the punctures which has dropped Loeb and Lurquin from third to ninth in the overall standings, but with a further 11 stages to go before the finish on January 19th there is time for them to fight back up the order as they did last year.
Organisers again predicted today would be a test of tests with sections of jagged stones and for the first time on the event, expanses of dunes. Come the finish line there was just a two hour service available for the BRX Prodrive crew to tend to the Hunter, however, as bad as it was for tyres today, the car was in good shape and was soon on its way before a parc ferme overnight in Al Salamiya.
The team then made a huge 530 kms drive after the short service to Al Hofuf where they will sleep tonight. Tomorrow sees the rally car set off for a 299km stage to Al Hofuf when Loeb and Lurquin will be reunited with the BRX team.
Sébastien Loeb - BRX
"So after the third puncture we needed to repair it and then had to stop every 20 kms to inflate the tyre again and again. We really are unlucky as the puncture is within the tread of the tyre not on the sidewall, but that’s it so we finished the stage. Sure we lost 25 minutes but it could have been worse."
Gus Beteli, BRX Team Principal
"Another intense day on Dakar as usual. Stage three and it gets harder and harder with the small marathon stage today and just a two hour service at the end of it. Seb and Fabian had three punctures today so that’s the big story really but managed very well to keep the car in one piece by getting it home. It’s frustrating to lose the time but we can claw that back.”
Stage 3 Result
Al Duwadimi - Al Salamiya, 437kms
23rd Loeb/Lurquin Bahrain Raid Xtreme Prodrive Hunter
9th Loeb/Lurquin Bahrain Raid Xtreme Prodrive Hunter +23m41s
- ENDS -
For more information please contact:
BRX Media Manager
t: +44 7860 145035
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.