Audi Sport has announced that it will participate next year in the famous and very difficult Dakar Rally with electric race car. Those of you who have even watched the Dakar Rally race TV will know that this is a race with many kilometers in the desert, quite difficult and with many traps.
Audi will be the first manufacturer in the world to take part in the demanding race with an electric race car. And even aims to claim victory from the first year of participation of the electric race car.
This is a decision that if it succeeds then we will be dealing with the radical change of racing. And if the project succeeds then we can say that the future of racing will be electric.
Audi Sport has created a dream team of big names in the world Motorsport. Three remarkable crews will take part in this race, which will start on 2 January and end on 14 January 2022. The French Stéphane Peterhansel and Edouard Boulanger, the Spaniards Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz and the Swedes Mattias Ekström and Emil Bergkvist .
Audi Sport GmbH CEO Julius Seebach said:
“It’s no exaggeration to talk about dream team. Stéphane is Dakar’s most successful driver of all time. Carlos also won in Dakar and a top rallyman. With Mattias, we’ve already celebrated many Audi hits in the past. Apart from high speed, everyone adds excellent experience and motivation to our team. In ten years, everyone will be driving electric cars and Dakar is an extreme test for this technology. We want to be the first team to win the Dakar Rally with an electric motor.”
The contestants call Stéphane Peterhansel (55) “Mister Dakar” . He’s a living legend in his sport. The Frenchman has won the world’s most famous cross-country rally 14 times, six victories by motorcycle and eight by car.
Carlos Sainz (59) is a living legend. The Spaniard is a two-time World Rally Champion (1990, 1992) and has celebrated three victories at the Dakar Rally to date: in 2010, 2018 and most recently in 2020, in the opening match in Saudi Arabia. Following Audi’s decision, Carlos Sainz said:
“Even at 59, I am thirsty for this new challenge. The Audi quattro has forever changed the World Rally Championship. Engineers have a lot more freedom here than in other famous races. I have full confidence in Audi engineers and will try to help them with my experience of a fast and successful car. Dakar is the ultimate challenge for an electric drivetrain. It’s a fantastic, extreme project. I can’t wait to try the car for the first time. What I’ve seen so far gives me confidence.”
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The group’s third driver, Swede Mattias Ekström (42) has spent almost his entire career under the four-ring flag. In DTM, he won the title twice with Audi (2004 and 2007). In 2016 he won the Rallycross World Championship and had successful attendances at the World Rally Championship, NASCAR and Australian Supercars. In 2020, he made his dakar rally debut.
Mattias Ekström said of this project: “Dakar will definitely be one of the most exciting adventures of my career. Although I’m going to be 43 this year, I feel like a ruki compared to Carlos and Stéphane. I still have a lot to learn, I’m really looking forward to it.’
Video from YouTube channel EKS