Audi has gained the grueling Dakar Rally with its bespoke RS Q E-Tron on its third try.
The Spanish driving duo of Carlos Sainz Sr. and Lucas Cruz secured Audi’s first-ever Dakar victory with a one-hour, 20-minute lead on the finish of the race’s 4,898 miles throughout Saudi Arabia.
It is the fourth Dakar win for the pair, following victories in 2010, 2018, and 2020. The 61-year-old Sainz Sr., father of Ferrari Components 1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr., additionally has two World Rally Championships underneath his belt.
Sainz Sr. and Cruz had dominating tempo all through the rally, main uninterrupted within the latter six of the race’s 12 levels. However on the Dakar Rally, powerful terrain and navigational challenges may be as a lot of a menace because the competitors.
Audi wins the 2024 Dakar Rally
Audi was in competition for a one-two win, with a second RS Q E-Tron pushed by Swedes Mattias Ekström and Emil Bergkvist operating second after six levels. Nonetheless, a rear-axle problem on the seventh stage took the Swedes out of competition. They managed to complete, however nicely outdoors the highest 10.
The RS Q E-Tron is a sequence plug-in hybrid, with gasoline engine used as a generator to cost a battery pack that in flip runs an electrical all-wheel-drive powertrain delivering a peak output of 383 hp. The gasoline engine additionally runs on artificial gas, which Audi claims reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 60% in comparison with standard fuels.
Audi first entered the RS Q E-Tron within the 2022 Dakar Rally, managing some stage wins and single-day podium outcomes. The automaker returned for 2023 with an up to date model, however that effort was marred by crashes. Additional updates have been made for the third try on the Dakar this yr, geared toward lowering weight, shortening upkeep occasions, and enhancing security, consolation, and reliability.
The Dakar Rally will get its identify from its unique route from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal. Organizers moved the race to South America in 2009 on account of fears of competitor security, after which to Saudi Arabia in 2020.