Flying through the fourth stage of the Rallye du Maroc today were Sébastien Loeb/Fabian Lurquin with their Prodrive Hunter over the hardest terrain of this year’s Rallye du Maroc. Such was their speed they were knocking on the door of the rally’s overall lead with a stellar drive but through a long valley at kilometre marker 231 they didn’t quite see a ditch until it was too late leaving the the car to nose in hard and unable to continue.
As disappointing as the accident has been, it once more exemplifies the speed and pace of the Prodrive Hunter in Rally Raid events the world over. Starting the day six and a half minutes back, Loeb and Lurquin were within 30 seconds of the overall lead with 110kms remaining today.
Teammates Orly Terranova and Bernardo Graue also carried the sheer pace of the Hunter through to the finish line with a brilliant second place over the 343kms today. The former winner of this event has never lost his touch over the dunes and through the valleys and this was a day where he showed just that.
There’s one more remaining stage on the finale of this year’s championship that will take place around the spectacular terrain of the Erg Chebbi with dunes that rise out of the plains like mountains.
Orly Terranova - BRX
"Today was a good day again especially after so long out of the car so it was not all about speed for us but more about pace. I didn’t feel over fast but we’ve been consistent over all of the stage and that made it very enjoyable."
Sébastien Loeb - BRX
“We were going very well indeed! I caught Nasser very early on because I knew if we caught him then that was for three minutes up on him. I was driving fast and although there were some tricky navigation points we managed to get past Ekstrom (for six minutes). Then we were first on the road keeping the rhythm but without knowing if the others were 20 metres behind or 2 kms behind. There were some bike tracks maybe 10 metres to the right of the oued [dry river] but maybe the bikes jumped over this ditch and we couldn’t. The main thing is we are both OK as I think we were only in second gear when we stopped so it was not so hard.”
Gus Beteli, BRX Team Principal
“A day of speed from the Hunter with Seb getting so close to taking the overall lead and Orly coming home in second place so again, we’re happy we have the speed inside the DNA of the car. Seb was just unlucky with that dip in the terrain but he’s fired up to be behind the wheel again soon.”
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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 2021 and 2022. 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.