Competing with the electric vehicle in the world's most challenging rally, Audi Sport showed the power of e-mobility in the first half of the rally.
Saying that the team had a very successful race in the rest of the Dakar Rally, Audi Technical Development Board Member Oliver Hoffmann said, “Our team developed the Audi RS Q e-tron in record time. Drivers and co-pilots, the team is a true example of teamwork.” said.
Having managed to win this rally three times before, Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz achieved the first stage victory in the 338-kilometer special stage between Al Artawiya-Al Qaisumah with his Audi RS Q e-tron on the fourth day of the race. The Spanish duo reached an average speed of 138 km / h.
At the end of the first part of the rally, which lasted for seven days, Audi achieved one first place, two second places and three third places on the stages.
In addition to Sainz/Cruz, the team's other legend, fourteen-time Dakar champion Stéphane Peterhansel and co-driver Edouard Boulanger, and Mattias Ekström/Emil Bergkvist competing in the Dakar Rally for the second time contributed to this success.
Julius Seebach, General Manager of Audi Sport GmbH and responsible for Audi motorsport, said that he is extremely happy with the mood of the team at the moment: “The harmony in the first part of the rally shows how fast this young team has grown. From white paper to desert, we only had one year of development for the most complex vehicle in Audi Motorsport's history. These results are far beyond expectations and are very important for the future.”
Despite all its success, the Audi team also experienced difficulties in the first section of approximately 4.700 kilometers. On the second day, the crew had navigation problems and also suffered suspension damage. French driver Stéphane Peterhansel had to wait for his racing truck to be repaired. The team was suspended for 16 hours due to missed checkpoints. He then put himself fully at the team's disposal and helped Carlos Sainz replace the shock absorbers on stages six and seven.
Audi Sport Racing Development Manager Stefan Dreyer said that they were surprised that the biggest problem experienced so far was the suspension, "It is impressive that our innovative and extremely stressful driving concept has worked flawlessly so far and the performance of the vehicle is also correct. Our goal is to arrive in Jeddah within a week with all three vehicles.” said.