Two stages and it’s two third places for Sébastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin with the Bahrain Raid Xtreme Prodrive Hunter following today’s 296 kilometres around Zagora in the depths of the Moroccan desert. With temperatures nudging 37 degrees it was a true test of the crew and the car as they tackled rough tracks in dry river beds, some dunes and complicated navigation before finishing over fast, hard ground.
An exhaust problem meant Loeb and Lurquin lost a little power over the last third of the stage so to finish just 2m 30s back of the stage winner was nothing short of an heroic effort from the French/Belgian duo.
Orly Terranova/Bernando Graue had a suspension problem after hitting a big rock at speed and despite all possible efforts they were unable to get the car fixed so will restart tomorrow to push hard again in the Hunter for stage glory.
Sébastien Loeb - BRX
“A good day to finish third and to keep the pace up with our Hunter. We were quick in the first part but then we were a little afraid as the exhaust broke that meant we lost a little bit of power over the latter kilometres so that makes the result quite impressive considering. We have the speed and we are looking forward to tomorrow as we are very much still in the fight for this rally as we do another loop around Zagora.”
Orly Terranova - BRX
“After a good start it wasn’t a great day for us as after the neutralisation there was a double caution and I was a little too far over on the right and we hit a big compression that took the tyre off. However it was bigger than that as it bent the suspension and we didn’t have the parts so we came out of the stage and already the car is getting ready for the new challenge tomorrow.”
Gus Beteli, BRX Team Principal
“Another tough, long and hot Moroccan day out there on the stage but a great stage from Seb to get third again and bring the Hunter across the line. We’re still in the hunt to win this rally with three stages to go. It’s a shame about Orly not finishing today after an issue he couldn’t fix on stage but we’ll get the car back now and prepare it for the 336 kilometres tomorrow.”
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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.