Loeb conducts first test with Prodrive's Dakar machine

Sebastien Loeb has conducted his first test with Prodrive's new BRX T1 machine ahead of next year's Dakar Rally, believing he and the team "will do something quite good"

Loeb conducts first test with Prodrive's Dakar machine

The nine-time World Rally champion will compete with the Prodrive-run Bahrain Raid Xtreme team in next year's off-road endurance event, which takes place on 3-15 January in Saudi Arabia.

The Frenchman along with 2014 Dakar winner Nani Roma conducted 15 days of testing in the Middle East where they completed 3,800 km without major problems.

"The car is very compact, so that makes it quite agile, nice to drive, more difficult to make some mechanic [changes] because everything is really compact, but we need a strong car that does not break and we are working on it," Loeb told Autosport.

"I'm quite confident we will do something quite good. For sure we had some problems, but that's normal.

"We could break the gearbox, the engine, different thing, but it didn't happen. There were some transmission stuff or things like this that got broken sometimes, but it's always the same. I'm quite confident that in the next test in December, we will have all the package for Dakar and it will work.

"The first year we know it is always complicated. I think none came to Dakar first year and won, but we are working hard and at the moment it's not so bad."

PLUS: Richards on Prodrive's new Dakar challenge

This was the first major test for Prodrive's BRX T1 machine that features a bespoke 3.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, and which completed a shakedown in the UK last month.

Loeb contested the Dakar as a factory Peugeot driver between 2016-18, securing a best finish of second during that three-year stint, before entering the rally as a privateer in 2019 following the French manufacturer's withdrawal from the rally raid and missed this year's edition.

"We are very happy with how these days are going," Roma told Autosport.

"This hard work is what we are dealing with now. It is not an easy job, but it is part of every project. I am sure that for the future it will bear fruit because every kilometre you are in the car you learn things.

"It's time to invest time and learn as much as you can from a new car like this. Everyone is super motivated and the more hours, the better everything will come out."

shares
comments
X-raid Mini team retains Sainz and Peterhansel for 2021 Dakar Rally
Previous article

X-raid Mini team retains Sainz and Peterhansel for 2021 Dakar Rally

Next article

Dakar Rally reveals 2021 Saudi Arabia route

Dakar Rally reveals 2021 Saudi Arabia route
Load comments
The positive future implications of Audi's creditable Dakar debut Plus

The positive future implications of Audi's creditable Dakar debut

OPINION: Audi has been a disruptive presence on the 2022 Dakar Rally, with its new hybrid RS Q e-tron taking three stage wins so far. Its impressive pace and resilience on one of the world’s toughest tests also bodes well for the Dakar’s future as it seeks to attract new manufacturers

Dakar
Jan 12, 2022
How Prodrive plans to use trial by Dakar to spur it to victory Plus

How Prodrive plans to use trial by Dakar to spur it to victory

Having tasted plenty of success in the World Rally Championship in the past, Prodrive took its off-road excursions to a new level with its first Dakar Rally entry this year. Now well-versed in the challenges that the famous rally-raid event possesses, Prodrive can learn from those lessons for next year's tilt at Dakar honours

Dakar
Jun 2, 2021
Why Loeb has joined forces with an old enemy for Dakar Plus

Why Loeb has joined forces with an old enemy for Dakar

The nine-time World Rally champion is heading to the Dakar Rally with an all-new project, and is joining up with the team he often fought against in the WRC - Prodrive - in his quest to finally add the most famed rally raid of them all to his bulging CV

Dakar
Dec 4, 2020
Richards on Prodrive's new Dakar challenge Plus

Richards on Prodrive's new Dakar challenge

With a stunning success record in motorsport, Prodrive is targeting a new crown by entering the 2021 Dakar Rally. David Richards provides an update on the programme, how COVID has slowed its plans and its options on who sits behind the wheel of its new car

Dakar
Jul 16, 2020
Why Alonso is already exceeding expectations in Dakar bid Plus

Why Alonso is already exceeding expectations in Dakar bid

How significant was Fernando Alonso's first cross-country rallying podium on a Saudi Arabian event last weekend? Very. The next leg of his post-F1 quest for versatile glory is going very well so far...

Dakar
Nov 12, 2019
What Alonso learned from his best Dakar test yet Plus

What Alonso learned from his best Dakar test yet

Double Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso took on one of his biggest challenges yet in the five-day Dakar warm-up event, Rally Morocco. Alonso gives his thoughts on his progress in a "bittersweet" event, and whether he will contest the Dakar

Dakar
Oct 10, 2019
Why Alonso must heed Loeb's Dakar failures Plus

Why Alonso must heed Loeb's Dakar failures

Fernando Alonso is edging closer to a Dakar debut, but he should take heed of the lessons rallying legend Sebastien Loeb has learned through several near-misses, despite his promising performances at the event

Dakar
Aug 22, 2019
Why Loeb cannot be allowed to give up on Dakar Plus

Why Loeb cannot be allowed to give up on Dakar

Sebastien Loeb has been the fastest man on the Dakar Rally since he first appeared on the legendary event, but he's still not won it after four dramatic attempts. That story cannot end here

Dakar
Jan 20, 2019