On Tuesday, the Romanian manufacturer Dacia unveiled the car that Sébastien Loeb will drive during the subsequent three editions of the Dakar, L’Equipe reports. The Renault Group subsidiary joined forces with Prodrive to develop the Sandrider prototype based on the Hunter—first race in Morocco in October 2024.
The subsidiary of the Renault group developed this car called Sandrider in collaboration with Prodrive and drawing on the experience acquired with the Hunter over the last four years.
It’s a professional project with real investment from the Dacia brand. Using Hunter’s experience in a completely new project was, in my opinion, the best possible choice to maximize my chances of victory in Dakar. We had our weaknesses; we had known them for several years.
There was a lack of robustness in terms of suspensions in particular and a lot of punctures, but victory was never very far away. With this new car, we are optimizing our strengths. I have confidence in all our preparation work.
I am focused on this development. There are a lot of tests to be carried out; that’s my priority.Sébastien Loeb
Philip Dunabin, the technical director, emphasized that this was a new concept.
It’s not just a Hunter revisited. All systems are either completely new or completely updated. We have a lighter, wider tubular chassis, with more space in the cockpit and better weight distribution. The engine is new; it’s a 3-litre V6 twin-turbo. We have worked on reliability in the transmission; the axles are more robust, and the gearbox has been revised. There has also been work on aerodynamics and visibility for the drivers.Philip Dunabin
For Sébastien Loeb, the priority is now to work on the development of the car to be ready for the Rallye du Maroc at the end of the season (October). And above all, to be ready for Dakar next year.
After the first runs in England in April, the team will travel to Morocco for a major test program in June.