The first kilometres of the 2023 Rallye du Maroc took place today with a 19km prologue for the Bahrain Raid Xtreme team to attack in their freshly built Prodrive Hunters. Sébastien Loeb/Fabian Lurquin were 12th on the stage with Orly Terranova/Bernando Graue one spot in front to take 11th.
As with all short prologue stages in the World Rally Raid Championship, there is always a case to not risk too much right at the start of such a big event that has taken 1000s of man hours to prepare for, and that is what the two BRX crews had as their target.
The result was where the team aimed to be for Loeb/Lurquin and Terranova/Graue come the return to a boiling hot service area on the outskirts of Agadir on the Atlantic coast this evening.
Tomorrow is a big day for the entire rally as the bivouac travels over 720 kilometres east towards Zagora, a spectacular part of Morocco that saw the rally visit last during the 2021 edition of the Rallye du Maroc. However, there will be no time for sightseeing as all of the Prodrive team focus will be on the stages that are real tests for the endurance of the Hunter and the crews driving them, but relishing the challenge nonetheless.
Sébastien Loeb - BRX
“It was OK today. Not the best of speed but we are in a good position for tomorrow so we are happy as a crew. We were just trying to get the right feeling in the car after being so long without doing a stage, but now back here we will adjust two or three things before tomorrow aiming to have a good stage.”
Orly Terranova - BRX
“The car is fantastic. I feel fast and confident after the start here in Morocco with the roads meaning we were in top gear for much of the stage today. I feel we were pushing well until kilometre 11 over this jump when on the landing we lost a bit of time. At the end of the stage I saw we were 10th but then we got bumped to 11th so it worked out for tomorrow (and the seeding).”
Gus Beteli, BRX Team Principal
“We’re very happy to be back in the World Rally Raid Championship with our cars on the stages again! It may well be a prologue today but the big part of the rally will start tomorrow with some good positions off the start line for our Prodrive Hunters. We are looking forward to the challenge again here in Morocco where we took a 1-2 last year.”
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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, 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.