Audi has introduced rally legends Stephane Peterhansel and Carlos Sainz, together with two-time DTM champion Mattias Ekstrom as a part of the motive force line-up for its Dakar debut subsequent 12 months. The 2022 Dakar Rally will see Audi grow to be the first-ever automobile producer to compete within the well-known occasion with an electrical automobile.
- Peterhansel has gained the Dakar Rally a file 14 instances
- Sainz is a multiple-time WRC and Dakar winner
- Ekstrom is a two-time DTM champion
Audi driver line-up for 2022 Dakar Rally
Each, Peterhansel and Sainz transfer over from the Mini X-Raid squad. Peterhansel has won the Dakar Rally a record 14 times – six instances on a bike and eight instances with a automobile. His constant efficiency noticed him win this 12 months’s Dakar Rally as he managed to finish 11 out of 12 levels within the high three. Becoming a member of him will likely be his co-driver Edouard Boulanger, who’s a skilled engineer with loads of Dakar expertise.
Carlos Sainz is a residing legend within the rally neighborhood, having gained the World Rally Championship twice (in 1990 and 1992) and the Dakar Rally thrice (in 2010, 2018 and 2020). Talking about his new stint with Audi, he mentioned, “Even at 59, I’m nonetheless hungry, in any other case I wouldn’t have taken on this new problem”. Sainz’ very long time co-driver Lucas Cruz will be part of him within the cockpit.
Ekstrom, in the meantime, has spent most of his skilled racing profession with Audi. Whereas he’s most notably identified for his two DTM titles in 2004 and 2007, he’s additionally proved to be a flexible driver through the years. He gained the World Rallycross Championship in 2016 and in addition loved profitable stints within the World Rally Championship (WRC), NASCAR and in Australian Supercars. This 12 months, he’s competing within the new Excessive E electrical off-road racing collection, driving for CUPRA. Emil Bergkvist, who was a rally driver himself, will function Ekstrom’s co-driver.
Collectively, the drivers will now work on testing and additional creating Audi’s electrical prototype. “In the long run, the drivers and co-drivers make the distinction on the Dakar Rally,” says Andreas Roos, who’s accountable for the manufacturing unit motorsport commitments at Audi Sport. “The truth that we can have three driver groups on the very highest degree is reassuring. We are able to put a test mark behind this level. Now it’s as much as us to finish the event of our revolutionary automobile and kick off the power revolution in cross-country rallying in January.”
Audi’s electrical Dakar racer
The 2022 Dakar Rally will see the introduction of an all-new T1-E class for low-carbon emission prototypes. And that is the class wherein Audi will make its Dakar debut. The producer has been working with Q Motorsport to develop an electrical off-road prototype for this new class.
The racer will take its energy from an electrical motor mated to a high-voltage battery, with a turbocharged petrol engine serving as a “extremely environment friendly power converter”. In essence, the combustion engine will act as a range-extender machine, topping up the battery pack as required whereas the race is in progress.