Tue. Jan 31st, 2023

There have been excessive fives all spherical for Audi. On the finish of greater than two weeks of arduous competitors that added 8895km to the journey laptop of its electrified RS Q e-tron, Mattias Ekström and co-driver Emil Bergkvist reached the end of the 2023 Dakar Rally. They have been welcomed by the whole group to have a good time one final stage podium that took their tally to 5 in a row.

The world‘s iconic Rally Raid occasion didn’t maintain again on its label as ones of the hardest races in  the world this 12 months. However the immensely robust tempo proven by its Swedish duo in the course of the second week assured that the Saudi Arabian journey ended on a excessive. Having posted the second-fastest time on the 14th and ultimate stage on Sunday, yet one more 4 locations have been recovered within the total order to advertise the #211 entry as much as 14th within the ultimate classification.

A 136km aggressive factor to day 16 was by no means anticipated to favour Ekström. Granted, he’d left the dunes behind for the sprint from Al-Hofuf to the chequered flag at Dammam. That meant he might put his expertise of muddier and flatter terrain to good use on a extra conventional Dakar seashore stage. However, after the latest run of podium outcomes, the automobile could be third out onto the course. With the waves lapping on the shoreline on the Arabian Gulf, there have been no traces within the sand for Ekström to make use of as a pure route information.

In-form Sébastien Loeb was first onto the stage and set the sixth-fastest time in deference to the tricky-to-navigate situations. But, after a bit of over an hour on the timed route, Ekström was a full three minutes sooner than the World Rally legend to complete because the day’s runner-up. He was simply 96 seconds behind Guerlain Chicherit, who was ninth to begin. That end result took Audi’s 2023 occasion whole to 14 stage podiums and a prologue and Stage win from the 15 days of working.

“It was very muddy and really troublesome to see the traces as a result of we ran very early on,” mentioned Ekström. “The character wasn’t actually pleasant: seeing the traces, the camel grass was tough after we got here, there have been a number of waypoints. I believe we did a great job. We tried all the things to win the stage however then the benefit for the fellows that got here later was a bit too large.”

“I believe, for the second, we’re pleased that it’s over. After the remaining day, we had a great rally. We’ll go residence, suppose, analyse, make a brand new plan, and are available and check out once more in a 12 months’s time.”

The odyssey from the west to the east of Saudi Arabia concluded with the Group Audi Sport entry notching a top-four end in all the ultimate six phases. So, you’d suppose it might be about time for a relaxation. Definitely, after coping with quite a few punctures, floods, and crash repairs, the mechanics have earned their annual go away. However Bergkvist reckoned he had a lot left within the tank.

“It was troublesome to open the street when there have been no traces and a number of mud,” mentioned the co-driver. “I believe we will be pleased with the second week. I believe we’re able to extra. For those who requested me to go for yet one more week then I’d for positive go. However we’re pleased to complete, to carry the automobile residence.”

For extra Audi efficiency tales, head this manner

*This automobile proven right here is the Rally Dakar automobile that’s not out there as a manufacturing mannequin. Closed course, skilled driver. Don’t try. The Audi RS Q e-tron combines an electrical drivetrain with an power converter system comprising a TFSI engine and generator.

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