Loeb hopes to avoid 'hidden things' as he sets sights on landmark Dakar victory for BRX

Bahrain Raid Xtreme star looks to build on record-breaking run in motorsport’s biggest adventure

By Team KT

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Sebastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin - aiming for a landmark Dakar Rally victory in their Bahain Raid Xtreme Prodrive Hunter. - Supplied photo
Sebastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin - aiming for a landmark Dakar Rally victory in their Bahain Raid Xtreme Prodrive Hunter. - Supplied photo

Published: Wed 3 Jan 2024, 6:21 PM

Sebastien Loeb has set his sights on a landmark victory for Bahrain Raid Xtreme in the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia as he looks to build on the team’s record-breaking achievement in last year’s event.

Partnered by Fabian Lurquin in the Prodrive Hunter, Loeb takes BRX into the team’s fourth Dakar, which starts with Friday’s 28km prologue in AlUla, and is determined to better their second place finishes from the past two editions of motorsport’s biggest adventure.

The BRX crew produced a stunning performance in the BRX Prodrive Hunter on the 2023 Dakar, taking 50% of the stage victories and a record breaking six stage wins in succession.

“We’ve had some good results together with Prodrive, but for me the Dakar is my target,” said Loeb. “To make the best over the big stages, Fabian and I will work hand in hand to have the speed, the correct navigation and avoid mechanical problems.

“However, the Dakar always has some ‘hidden things’ at any time, so we’ll piece these together over the huge adventure that this rally always is. I’m looking forward to it.”

With nine World Rally Championship crowns and an impressive set of accolades under his belt from Le Mans and X Games to Touring Cars, Loeb is as motivated as ever as he looks to steer BRX to a first Dakar triumph.

Opening the 2024 World Rally-Raid Championship, the fifth Dakar Rally to be staged in Saudi Arabia will be another gruelling test of human endurance and technical engineering.

Over two weeks, a route of nearly 8,000 kilometres includes 12 stages as the rally traverses the Kingdom from north-west to south-east and back again for the finish at Yanbu on the coast of the Red Sea.

The organisers have laid out a taxing route over the tracks in the north to the sheer enormity of the Empty Quarter in the south, where dunes cover an area the size of France.

This time the event includes an extra-long ’48-hour Chrono’ stage at the mid-point, with 600kms to be covered over two days in pure dunes, with service allowed only by the drivers and crew from the BRX race trucks at the overnight bivouac.

Looking ahead to the start, David Richards, Founder and Chairman of Prodrive, said: “If I turn the clock back and think to when we started this programme with Bahrain, and remember how much work has gone into our Rally Raid Programme, I have to say I’m very proud of what we have achieved.”

The BRX Prodrive Hunter will arrive at the start of its fourth Dakar with further developments and utilising sustainable fuel to power through the stages in Saudi.

With no major changes made to the set-up of the engine to accommodate the biofuel created from agricultural waste, the car will again emit 80% less CO2 emissions from the 3.5 litre V6 twin turbo engine during the rally.

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