Audi Sport Completes Dakar Tests

Audi Sport Completes Dakar Tests
Audi Sport Completes Dakar Tests

Audi Sport Team prepared an analytical test for suspension and tires after the 2023 Dakar Rally. Although the Audi RS Q e-tron set a record 15 podiums in the 14-day competition held in January, the team made an assessment due to several problems during the race.

Audi Sport Team completed its analysis to determine the reasons why the desired result was not achieved, despite a successful fight in the 2023 Dakar Rally held in January.

While the innovative electric drive concept worked flawlessly, tire failures resulted in all three teams failing to achieve their desired results in the most important race of the year. In addition to its analysis work since January, the team also completed testing in Saudi Arabia in May.

Michl: We have to find solutions

Stating that their pre-race goal is leadership, Audi Motorsport President Rolf Michl said, “Our technology, team, pilots and co-pilots have this potential. Our stage results prove this. Therefore, it was even more frustrating that tire failures and other problems we experienced during the race in January took us back. Now we have to find a solution. Our systematically planned testing was the next important step on this path after theoretical analysis.” said.

Race conditions recreated

Audi Sport Team and three drivers Mattias Ekström, Carlos Sainz and Stéphane Peterhansel conducted tests in Saudi Arabia in May, comparing the performance of two different tire types of BF Goodrich, the official tire supplier of the Dakar Rally. Trying to recreate the damage conditions experienced in January to develop countermeasures, the team used different tracks: on a sprint track of about 13 kilometers of gravel and sand, engineers studied performance characteristics. Over a distance of approximately 110 kilometers on a stony course, the focus was on durability and damage patterns. In addition, the chassis is reliable and uniform on uneven ground. zamWork on shock absorbers was also on the agenda, as they had to behave consistently and efficiently at the same time. Load and acceleration sensors in the chassis supported this analysis.

Sven Quandt, Team Director of Q Motorsport, said that the test organization was extremely challenging, “We re-enacted tire failures during the tests. This allowed us to analyze the conditions that gave us a headache in January. Closely related to this, we also changed the suspension settings. We haven't found a XNUMX% solution yet, but this test was very valuable and we are on the right track." he said. After recovering from his January crash, Carlos Sainz took part in the tests with his co-driver, Lucas Cruz. Cruz also helped Stéphane Peterhansel. As it will be remembered, Edouard Boulanger, Peterhansel's co-driver, also had an accident in January. He did not participate in the tests because the test track was physically very demanding. The duo of Mattias Ekström and Emil Bergkvist, who used the third vehicle of the team, also took part in the tests.

Despite the temperature of 42 degrees Celsius and constant strong winds in Saudi Arabia, Audi Sport, which carried out the tests, also left the low-emission energy converter test supported by the RS Q e-tron and reFuel. The tests, which took place on a total of 2.568 kilometers, were important in terms of obtaining technical information, decision-making and determining the driving style for engineers and pilots, as well as confirming the reliability of the innovative concept. All the data obtained will be analyzed comprehensively and will guide Audi and Q Motorsport's preparations for the 2024 Dakar Rally and the organization's next step.