The Prodrive Hunter’s Rally du Maroc debut saw triumph today with a 1-2 finish for the GCK Motorsport car of Guerlain Chicherit/Alex Winocq closely followed home on one of the World Rally Raid Championship’s toughest events by the Bahrain Raid Xtreme entry of Orly Terranova/Alex Haro. Covering 1,575 kilometres of flat out stage action over six days, it’s the first time a manufacturer has taken a 1-2 finish on a WRRC event making the celebrations at the finish line extra special.
For the Prodrive team, this win confirms their engineering prowess on the international stage having now won FIA events in the World Rally Championship, World Endurance Championship and now the World Rally Raid Championship.
Sebastien Loeb/Fabian Lurquin won their second stage of the Rallye du Maroc as it returned to Agadir after speeding along the famous Plage Blanche (white beach) for more than ten kilometres. It was a fittingly spectacular conclusion to the event for the duo who may have lost their World Championship points lead but will be back in action in a couple of weeks time on the Andalucia Rally in Spain to fight for more.
Prodrive EcoPower fuel was used in all three of the Prodrive Hunters, the sustainable fuel that reduces CO2 emissions by 80% on the arduous , dusty and rocky stages of the Sahara desert. The result backs up the BRX team’s second and fourth overall on the Dakar Rally 2022.
1st place overall
Guerlain Chicherit. GCK Motorsport.
“That feels good…everything is just perfect. That result is just awesome! I only drove the car for two days before the rally, but it gave me great confidence and fits really well with my driving style so I was certain we could do something. Now after winning here in Morocco, I now know what I can really do with my car and that’s just incredible. For the Prodrive team to build that car from a sheet of white paper and just two years later be at this level is quite amazing. Thank you so much to Alex (Winocq) because most of the time we were opening the stage and that’s so good for the confidence of the pair of us. Since the beginning the whole team gave me such belief we could do this too so thank you so much to them for the faith they’ve shown in me too.”
2nd place overall
Orly Terranova. Bahrain Raid Xtreme
“I am very happy as since the Dakar we haven’t rallied so it is good to be on pace and take second here for Bahrain Raid Xtreme. The nature of Morocco means it is not an easy rally from the start, but we have showed we have a good car and crew for Dakar. Now we need to do some good physical training between now and January and be concentrated and motivated to have a good rally in Saudi Arabia. The objective is to improve from where we were on the last year’s Dakar when we were fourth.”
Sebastien Loeb. Bahrain Raid Xtreme
“It’s great to take some points today with another stage victory.; we achieved what we could. Looking forward we will continue to push hard on the next rally in Andalucia that’s not far away. Of course it wasn’t quite the rally we wanted after losing some points yesterday but that’s motorsport. What we have found are places where we can further improve before the Dakar as we’re always developing and progressing.
David Richards. BRX Team Director
“Prodrive’s first major victory in Rally Raid certainly had it’s highs and lows but overall a great result for the Team as well as excellent preparation for next year’s Dakar. Guerlain was so deserving of this victory after such a measured and intelligent drive and of course a lot of credit must go to Alex for keeping him on the right tracks throughout. Orlando proved yet again how reliable he is and after finishing fourth on this year’s Dakar he must be one of the favourites for a podium in January. I feel particularly disappointed for Seb as he had the pace to win but not the luck on this occasion. However the World Rally Raid Championship’s not over yet and I’m sure he’ll fight until the very last stage of Andalucia.”
Gus Beteli. BRX Team Principal
“That’s a fantastic result to take a 1-2 the first time we’ve been here on the Morocco Rally. We couldn’t be happier to take these trophies but also as preparation for the Dakar Rally in January. It’s been a massive effort by everyone to keep the cars running on a very tough rally so we’re all very happy indeed.”
Tan-Tan to Agadir
Chicherit/Winocq Prodrive Hunter.
Terranova/Haro. Prodrive Hunter + 10m 55 secs
Al Attiyah/Baumel Toyota +29m 24 secs
Al Rajhi/Von Zitzewitz Toyota +41m 31 secs
Prokop/Chytka Ford +1h 00m 37 secs
Przygonski/Monleon Buggy +1h 04m 04 secs
Esteve/Villalobos Toyota +1h 52m 03 secs
Quintero/Zenz T3 +1h 57m 09 secs
Guitierrez/Moreno T3 +2h 08m 34 secs
Rosa/Bianchi Prata Toyota +2h 26m 15 secs.
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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.