Bahrain Raid Xtreme (BRX) will run a three car team at the 2022 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia in January, with its cars powered by a new sustainable fuel.
The fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent compared to petrol, as it is made from generation 2 biofuel manufactured from agricultural waste and e-fuels created from carbon capture.
The Dakar starts on January 1, and over two weeks the cars will race 7,500km across the deserts of Saudi Arabia, starting in Ha’il and finishing in Jeddah, with a mid-event rest day in Riyadh.
By using the fuel, on what is the most demanding motor race in the world, BRX aims to demonstrate that such fuels can be used as an alternative to petrol and diesel in road transport, and immediately make a contribution to fighting climate change.
The team’s regular drivers, nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb and two-time Dakar winner, Nani Roma, will be joined by Orlando Terranova as the team enters three Prodrive Hunter T1+ cars.
Experienced Argentinian driver Terranova competed with the BRX team alongside Loeb and Roma at Baja Aragon in Spain back in July in the Hunter T1 car, setting two fastest sector times, with Loeb collecting six more out of a possible 11.
All three will be joined by their current co-drivers, with Fabian Lurquin alongside Loeb, Alex Haro with Roma and Dani Oliveras with Terranova.
The team have already completed extensive testing of the Hunter T1+ in the Gulf region, and will be carrying out further testing in the UAE over the coming weeks focused on endurance and navigational exercises, before heading to Saudi Arabia for the Dakar. Both Loeb and Roma have tested the car, while Terranova will get several days in the Hunter during December.
Sebastien Loeb said: “I have a really good feeling in the new car. We have tested in all the different conditions we expect to see on the Dakar. With the new larger tyres, we were able to maintain our speed through the rough and rocky sections with much less risk of punctures. Fabian and I have several more days’ testing where we will spend a lot of our time focusing on navigation, as this will once again be very important in Saudi.”
BRX team director, David Richards, said: “Our driver line up this year is one of the strongest with the experience of almost 50 Dakar rallies between the three of them. The new Hunter T1+ has proved fast and reliable in testing and the driver/co-driver partnerships are working well, which is so important in the Saudi desert where accurate navigation is so critical.”
T1+ cars run on larger tyres, with increased suspension travel and a wider track. The car now benefits from 37” tyres on 17” rims, with suspension travel increased from 280mm to 350mm and the body width increased from 2m to 2.3m to accommodate this.
These changes have necessitated a radical redesign of the Hunter, and Prodrive has used this as an opportunity to make further improvements, including a larger windscreen for improved visibility and a refinement of a number of systems throughout the car.