Audi Sport, which is preparing to compete with the RS Q e-tron in the Dakar Rally, which is considered one of the most important motorsports organizations in the world, continues its preparations without interruption.
Stephane Peterhansel, known as 'Mister Dakar', who will sit in the driver's seat of one of the three RS Q e-tron vehicles that will compete for Audi in the world's toughest rally between January 2-14, 2022, shared his views on the race.
Within the scope of this ambitious project, which is preparing to be the first brand to compete with an all-electric vehicle, just days before the Dakar Rally, which is considered the most challenging rally in the world, Mattias Ekström/Emil Bergkvist (Sweden), Stéphane Peterhansel/Edouard Boulanger (France) and Carlos Working with three famous driving teams consisting of Sainz/Lucas Cruz (Spain), Audi Sport continues its preparations without interruption.
He will sit in the pilot's seat of one of the three RS Q e-tron vehicles that will compete in the challenge, all zamStephane Peterhansel, known as Mister Dakar, the most successful Dakar driver of the moment, also shared his thoughts on the preparation processes and the race.
Stéphane Peterhansel, who made his debut at the Dakar Rally in 1988, is the only record holder of the famous rally with 14 victories. Before starting his 34th race at the legendary off-road event and his first race with the Audi brand, the French driver said:
Happy to be part of the team
“I'm a big fan of this off-road endurance rally, but the same zamI also follow many other motorsport disciplines at the moment. Back in my Group B days, I adored Audi in rally racing. I am really proud to be a part of this team now. Every Audi zamThere is one thing that makes the moment different: they competed for victory in every competition they took part in, no matter the rally or whatever race. The situation is no different today.”
An unimaginable driving pleasure
“I left behind 14 years in my career. In this process, I witnessed many developments. If someone had told me one day that I was going to race an electric car with an energy converter in the Dakar, I wouldn't have believed it. However, after the tests we have done so far, I can say that this vehicle offers a driving pleasure that I could not imagine. This idea paves the way for electric powertrains to become increasingly popular in everyday driving as well. The RS Q e-tron offers a huge amount of power and torque. It is not possible to see such a performance in a classic vehicle with an internal combustion engine. Since there is no transmission and I don't have to change gears, I can focus entirely on off-road driving”.
We had security advice to the development team
As a driver, you should feel comfortable and safe in the vehicle you drive. Audi is very familiar with electric powertrains, both at Le Mans and in Formula E. As drivers, we know exactly what the Dakar Rally demands on the chassis, suspensions and other components. There are of course many detailed ideas that contribute to the development process. But our overall recommendation was that reliability is more important than a tenth of a second.”
Everyone knows very well what to do
“Almost everything in the project is new: the innovative powertrain, the chassis designed for it, and so on. On the other hand, it is very nice that everyone, from us as the teams that will drive the car, to the Q Motorsport field team, knows what needs to be done. Nobody can show Audi a thing or two when it comes to developing competitive racing cars. We drivers contribute decades of motorsport experience. Sven Quandt's team has been extremely successful in off-road rallies for nearly a quarter of a century. I won the Dakar Rally three times with him. We have had a good relationship with Carlos Sainz in recent years, based on mutual trust. We share many views and therefore work well together. Although Mattias Ekström is new to this discipline, he has an outstanding career and is the World Rallycross Champion. In addition, he knows the inside and out, having worked with Audi Sport for many years. It's a good mix that everyone benefits from."
Stephane Peterhansel (55)
A living legend and known as “Mister Dakar”, French driver Stéphane Peterhansel has won the world's toughest rally, the Dakar Rally 14 times, six of which were in the motorcycle and eight in the automobile category. Peterhansel will compete in the rally under the co-pilot of Edouard Boulanger (42).