Over the gruelling second stage of the Rallye du Maroc, Bahrain Raid Xtreme’s Prodrive Hunters of Sebastien Loeb/Fabian Lurquin and Orly Terranova/Alex Haro took dominant first and second places over the 316 kilometres from Tan-Tan to Laâyoune. The speed of the Hunter was further confirmed by the GCK Motorsport car of Guerlain Chicherit/Alex Winocq that backed up the pace of the leading duo to finish third and thus make a clean sweep for the Hunters on the stage and in the overall rally standings.
As the rally approaches the half way point tomorrow, Loeb/Lurquin have taken the overall lead of the Rallye du Maroc with Terranova/Haro in second just eight seconds back and Chicherit/Winocq in third place just 4 minutes and 20 seconds back of the flying Frenchman, Loeb.
Over a much faster stage than yesterday’s run into Tan-Tan, today’s test saw a section over the top of a high plateau and then the first of the dunes of this year’s rally before arriving into a new bivouac at Laâyoune, some 640 kilometres from the start of the rally in Agadir. As with all stages in the 2022 FIA World Rally Raid Championship, it was no easy route that the organisers laid out through the dry riverbeds and the first erg (large series of dunes) of the event.
For the Bahrain Raid Xtreme team and all at Prodrive International, today’s result is the confirmation of long hours of design, testing and hard work on the ground across different continents since the Prodrive Hunter T1+ made it’s competition debut on the Dakar Rally in January this year.
Sebastien Loeb. Winner stage 2.
“That feels really good! We did a very good job today to make this 1-2-3 on the stage after so much hard work everyone in the BRX team has put into the Prodrive Hunter. After yesterday’s troubles we had a really good stage without many mistakes at all; just one puncture in over 300 kilometres wasn’t bad at all to make it a clean run. They’d made the navigation very difficult in there, really making you work to find the way points, but that’s rally raid and that’s why it’s so satisfying to win a stage like this.”
Orly Terranova. 2nd.
“That felt like a really long stage. It was difficult in the early kilometres as we had a puncture, so I said to myself to just check my pace a little but after the neutralisation I really started to up my speed. There were some more stones and then dunes that were technical to drive but if you don’t drive with your head you’ll be in trouble but the car feels so good. Last night we made some changes to the suspension and I felt better today and great to be part of this 1-2-3 finish.”
Guerlain Chicherit. 3rd.
‘’Again, this car is just insane. It’s just incredible! That aside, I had some punctures like so many others today but as I fought back through the main part of the stage it felt so great to really feel the speed… and I know I have the speed. Sure, it’s a frustrating thing to have these punctures, but it’s a great day for the Prodrive Hunter and the GCK Motorsport team to be part of the clean sweep of the podium. Our day with our car will come to get higher up the order and I can’t wait for that to come.”
Gus Beteli. BRX Team Principal
“Today was a dream day for Bahrain Raid Xtreme with a 1, 2, 3 on the stage and a 1, 2, 3 on the rally which is such a fantastic result. Everyone has made such a huge effort to get to this point back at base and on the rally. The drivers and co-drivers navigated some very difficult kilometres today trying to avoid punctures in this searing heat. There are still three days to go but we will keep pushing to keep these positions to the end with the focus to extend our lead in the world championship.”
1. Loeb/Lurquin Prodrive Hunter 2h 56m 54 secs
2. Terranova/Haro. Prodrive Hunter +10m 15 secs
3. Chicherit/Winocq Prodrive Hunter. +18m 08 secs
4. Van Loon/Delaunay Toyota +24m 23 secs
5. Yacopini/Oliveras Toyota +24m 41 secs
6. Esteve/Villalobos Toyota +31m 16 secs
7. De Mevius/Cazalet T3 +32m 46 secs
8. Al Rajhi/Von Zitzewitz Toyota. 33m 22 secs
9. Prokop/Chytka Ford +35m 16 secs
10. Lopez/Mena Can-Am +36m 44 secs
- ENDS -
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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.