Dacia is teaming up with Prodrive to enter Dakar Rally in 2025 where Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez Herrero will drive for the manufacturer.
Dacia has confirmed that from 2025, it will compete as a manufacturer in the World Rally-Raid Championship, culminating in the Dakar, the ultimate test of endurance and robustness. Dakar, an extraordinary human adventure has brought together more than 60 nationalities and 500 adventurers for a unique competition every year, for over 40 years.
The Dakar is a perfect illustration of the balance between the ‘rational’ and the ‘emotional’ that lies at the heart of the Dacia’s DNA. The rally-raid is a human and sporting adventure, clearly in keeping with Dacia’s brand territories: it is a robust and outdoor adventure at the wheel of a 4-wheel drive prototype developed to cope with the most extreme conditions; it’s an eco-smart adventure, with Dacia’s race car running on synthetic fuel, and an essential but cool adventure with an ambitious goal that leaves no room for the superfluous.
The Dakar Rally will be a testing ground and a laboratory of ideas for Dacia. It will be an opportunity to test and try out new clever solutions “à la Dacia”, in terms of outdoor functionalities, but also in terms of energy choices. Before taking up the challenge of the 2025 season, Dacia prototypes will be put to the test as early as 2024 at the Rallye du Maroc.
DACIA RELIES ON A ROBUST AND EXPERIENCED TECHNICAL BASE
Dacia will approach this exciting project by relying on the skills of Renault Group, and by drawing on British motorsport and engineering group, Prodrive, whose experience in developing prototypes for rally-raid is world-renowned. For almost 40 years, Prodrive has been one of the major players in motorsport worldwide, helping to lead brands to win numerous international championships.
Prodrive has been involved in the Dakar Rally and Rally-Raid since 2020, taking part in the last three Dakar rallies with cars designed and managed by their own teams, achieving second place overall in 2022 and 2023 with Sébastien Loeb, who is now part of the new Dacia team.
SÉBASTIEN LOEB AND CRISTINA GUTIERREZ HERRERO WILL BE THE DACIA DRIVERS
Spanish rally driver Cristina Gutierrez Herrero became the first Spanish woman in the car category to finish the Dakar Rally in 2017. Aged just 31, she has already participated in 7 Dakar Rallies between 2017 and 2023. Cristina has also been the all-terrain rally champion (women’s category) in Spain since 2012.
French rally driver Sébastien Loeb, 49, won the World Rally Championship 9 times in a row from 2004 to 2012. He is one of motorsport’s most successful drivers and is often considered the greatest rally driver of all time.
Loeb has taken part in the Dakar since 2016. From 2021, he took part in the Dakar Rally at the wheel of the Bahrain Raid Xtreme Hunter designed and run by the British Prodrive team. The success story between Sébastien Loeb and Prodrive will now continue at the wheel of a Dacia.
DACIA PROTOTYPE TO RUN ON SYNTHETIC TEST FUEL SUPPLIED BY ARAMCO
The Dacia prototype will run on a synthetic test fuel supplied by Aramco, a world leader in the energy and chemicals sector. Aramco’s synthetic fuel solutions are produced by combining renewable hydrogen with captured CO2, resulting in a lower-carbon, drop-in fuel compatible with today’s engines. The Dakar Rally is the ideal testing ground for this technology for the Dacia brand.
[Note: The story is as per press release]