The ASO has revised the technical rules for the subsequent 12 months’s Dakar, with the minimal weight of hybrid or electrical vehicles entered within the T1U division elevated from 2000kg to 2100kg. No such change has been made to petrol-powered vehicles that dominate the T1+ class and battle with T1U automobiles for general wins, with their minimal weight remaining at 2,000kg.
Because of this the Audi RS Q e-tron E2 will not less than be 100kg heavier than its direct rivals within the German producer’s second outing in Dakar subsequent 12 months, leaving it at a serious drawback.
It follows a major weight-saving train by Audi since its debut outing in Dakar earlier this 12 months, the place its automotive was over the minimal requirement by not less than 200kg resulting from its extremely advanced powertrain.
Sainz, a three-time winner of the Dakar Rally, says he was shocked by the ASO’s choice to bump up the load for T1U automobiles when the truth is it ought to be serving to producers which might be prepared to take dangers with new applied sciences.
“Final 12 months we had a minimal weight of 2000kg,” mentioned Sainz. “Clearly, we had been nicely over the load as a result of it was the primary try of this new expertise.
“This new expertise is cool however clearly it is not simple to make a automotive two tonnes or 2000 kilos with a battery pack, with three electrical engines we’re carrying. Final 12 months we had been fairly obese.
“This 12 months the workforce has accomplished a implausible job however we have now the shock of latest rules coming to electrical vehicles. As an alternative of 2000kg it is 2100kg, so in any case this 12 months we will likely be 100kg heavier than our opponents and we’re going to have a little bit bit much less energy. That is one thing obscure.
“I do not wish to create polemics. I do not wish to go an excessive amount of into element however I’ll say it shocked me that the rules don’t assist anyone like Audi which has taken the braveness to strive to enter these sustainable forms of vehicles.
“You do this and you discover out that the rules usually are not in your favour. That is one thing I might say that shocked myself.”
Audi RS Q e-tron E2
Photograph by: Audi Communications Motorsport
Sainz believes the rise within the minimal weight of the Audi will notably hamper it in the direction of the top of phases, when petrol-powered vehicles could have little gas remaining within the tank and therefore will likely be at their lightest.
“We need to assume that we’ll be shut [to our competitors],” mentioned Sainz. “We’re speaking a couple of 5 kilowatts distinction in energy [to T1+ cars] which isn’t rather a lot. After which clearly we’re carrying 100kg extra.
“Once you discuss in regards to the kilos in the beginning of the stage, we could have a in all probability related weight as a result of others have to hold extra gas. However after we attain the top of the stage we will likely be 100kg obese.
“That is clearly not so good. In any case will probably be not possible for us to go to the minimal weight of 2000kg, however as a precept it is obscure [the change in rules] from my standpoint.”
Sainz expects the Toyota of reigning champion Nasser Al-Attiyah and the Prodrive-run Bahrain Raid Xtreme automotive of WRC legend Sebastien Loeb to be his essential challengers subsequent 12 months, however he additionally thinks all three Audi drivers will likely be within the combine.
“Our essential opponents are very clear,” he mentioned. “It is Toyota and Nasser, the most important risk there. We even have [the] Bahrain [team], the automotive can also be very quick and Prodrive has all of the engineers, and clearly Sebastien Loeb will likely be there.
“And Audi drivers. Mattias [Ekstrom] goes to be quick, Stephane [Peterhansel] is all the time there and he has received so many instances. And I contemplate myself in addition to one of many favourites. Now we have a powerful workforce however our essential opponents are very clear.”
Not like team-mate Sainz, 14-time Dakar winner Peterhansel was hesitant to talk out towards the Stability of Efficiency system used to even out the pace of vehicles operating on electrical energy and standard gas, saying it’s best to depart this matter within the arms of the regulators.
“The steadiness of efficiency is all the time difficult to search out,” mentioned Peterhansel. “I believe that if the folks from the FIA determine this steadiness of efficiency, I believe it is honest.
“However I by no means say I am completely satisfied or not completely satisfied. Now we have guidelines, we have to observe the foundations and we have to do the most effective with the foundations.
“So in case you lose vitality to battle the choice of the FIA, you lose vitality for nothing as a result of they are going to by no means change for you.
“An important factor is to concentrate on the event of our automotive, to do our greatest with the answer that we have now and we’ll see what is going to occur. No remark in regards to the BoP.”
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