January 29, 2023

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Dakar greats Peterhansel and Sainz will drive electric Audi in next rally

Carlos Sainz, left, Stephane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres indication autographs at the 2019 Dakar Rally. (Reuters)


“Mr Dakar” Stephane Peterhansel and triple champion Carlos Sainz have joined Audi’s bid to earn the 2022 version of the stamina rally with an electric powered prototype, the Volkswagen-owned maker said on Monday.

Frenchman Peterhansel, 55, has won the Dakar a history fourteen instances like this 12 months. Spaniard Sainz, 59, triumphed in 2020 with equally motorists recently competing for the X-Raid Mini JCW workforce.

They will be joined by 42-12 months-aged Swede Mattias Ekstroem, a two-time winner of the Germany Touring Automobile (DTM) championship and world rallycross champion, in the Jan two-fourteen party in Saudi Arabia.

Audi hope to be the initially maker to take overall victory with an electrified powertrain.

“The Dakar is one particular of the previous adventures in this world. And it is on the verge of a radical change: the upcoming is electric powered,” said Peterhansel.

“The Dakar is an extraordinary exam for this technological know-how. We want to be the initially workforce to earn the Dakar Rally with an electric powered powertrain.”

Sainz is already competing in electric powered racing with his possess workforce in the Serious E off-road SUV sequence that started out this 12 months.

“Even at 59, I’m nevertheless hungry, in any other case I wouldn’t have taken on this new challenge,” he said.

The prototype autos will use an electric powered drivetrain equipped by a significant-voltage battery which can be charged through a combustion motor.

The yearly rally started out in 1978 as a race from Paris to the Senegalese money, Dakar, but moved from Africa for safety explanations in 2009.

One particular of motorsport’s most perilous and grueling events, the rally is now held fully in Saudi Arabia soon after a stint in South The united states.