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

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


“Mr Dakar” Stephane Peterhansel and triple champion Carlos Sainz have joined Audi’s bid to win the 2022 edition of the endurance rally with an electrical prototype, the Volkswagen-owned company stated on Monday.

Frenchman Peterhansel, fifty five, has won the Dakar a record fourteen instances like this 12 months. Spaniard Sainz, 59, triumphed in 2020 with both equally motorists just lately competing for the X-Raid Mini JCW crew.

They will be joined by forty two-12 months-outdated Swede Mattias Ekstroem, a two-time winner of the Germany Touring Auto (DTM) championship and globe rallycross champion, in the Jan 2-fourteen party in Saudi Arabia.

Audi hope to be the initial company to choose all round victory with an electrified powertrain.

“The Dakar is one particular of the last adventures in this globe. And it is on the verge of a radical improve: the potential is electrical,” stated Peterhansel.

“The Dakar is an excessive take a look at for this technological innovation. We want to be the initial crew to win the Dakar Rally with an electrical powertrain.”

Sainz is already competing in electrical racing with his very own crew in the Serious E off-street SUV sequence that begun this 12 months.

“Even at 59, I’m nevertheless hungry, usually I wouldn’t have taken on this new problem,” he stated.

The prototype cars will use an electrical drivetrain equipped by a higher-voltage battery which can be billed by way of a combustion motor.

The yearly rally begun in 1978 as a race from Paris to the Senegalese cash, Dakar, but moved from Africa for protection factors in 2009.

A single of motorsport’s most perilous and grueling functions, the rally is now held totally in Saudi Arabia after a stint in South The us.