Sebastién Loeb and Fabian Lurquin have today taken their second stage victory of this year’s Dakar Rally continuing BRX’s epic fight back from 54th to 4th overall on the world’s toughest motorsport event. Covering 346 kilometres today against the clock, the competitors still had to cover a total of 822 kilometres to get from the overnight bivouac at Al Duwadimi back to Riyadh tonight.
For the Prodrive Hunters it is the fourth day on the bounce that all three cars have finished the stage inside the top 10 and the third stage win for the car on this immensely tough 2023 edition.
Driving the sister Prodrive cars, Guerlain Chicherit/Alex Winocq in their GCK entered version overcame the challenges of navigation to finish 6th into Riyadh with the Teltonika Racing entry of Vaidotas Zala/Paulo Fiuza in 10th.
Tomorrow is the rest day giving the opportunity for the Bahrain Raid Xtreme team to tend to any work required on the cars before the venture into a part of Saudi Arabia that the Dakar has not been to before, the Empty Quarter. 3,403 kilometres have been completed from the planned 4,695 of this Dakar. There is still a long, but more importantly, very challenging way to go.
“Today was a very good day to have the best time in the stage and first position for Bahrain Raid Xtreme again. We also have risen another place in the overall standings to fourth so it’s much better than it was a few days ago so it’s a good way to end the first week. The feeling with the car was so good; really nice to be like this in the car I have to say."
“We did well yesterday so we were really highly motivated this morning to win the stage. We just missed out unfortunately as we were almost too ‘early’ on the road as we were clearing stones and finding the way. Having said that 6th is a good position for the next stage after the rest day. Let’s see how we feel for the second week but I want to push really hard.”
“It was very stoney today so to get to the finish with only one puncture was a real positive but to take that puncture after just 15 kilometres into the stage, it brought back bad memories from stage two! From then on I thought let’s keep it cool today so we cruised through the stones; maybe a bit too conservative but we didn’t want to risk anything. Not a super day, but one we had to get through so the car and everything is good for the next stage.”
Gus Beteli, Team Principal
“Another day where the target was to climb up the order and to have a further stage win. Three out of eight for the Prodrive Hunter plus BRX is up to fourth place overall with Seb so the rest day is very well deserved tomorrow. Sure they’ll be a lot of work to do but the vibe is good here at the BRX camp after all three cars made the top 10 again today.”
Stage 8. Al Duwadimi to Riyadh. 346 kms
1st. S. Loeb / F. Lurquin – Prodrive Hunter
6th. G. Chicherit / A. Winocq – Prodrive Hunter
10th. V. Zala / P. Fiuza – Prodrive Hunter
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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.