Sainz hits out at 100kg weight enhance for Audi’s Dakar contender

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The ASO has revised the technical laws for the following 12 months’s Dakar, with the minimal weight of hybrid or electrical automobiles entered within the T1U division elevated from 2000kg to 2100kg. No such change has been made to petrol-powered automobiles that dominate the T1+ class and combat with T1U automobiles for total wins, with their minimal weight remaining at 2,000kg.

Which means that the Audi RS Q e-tron E2 will at the least 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 big 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 at the least 200kg as a result of its extremely advanced powertrain.

Sainz, a three-time winner of the Dakar Rally, says he was shocked by ASO’s resolution to bump up the load for T1U automobiles when in reality it must be serving to producers which are prepared to take dangers with new applied sciences.

“Final 12 months we had a minimal weight of 2000kg,” stated Sainz. “Clearly, we have been properly over the load as a result of it was the primary try of this new expertise. 

“This new expertise is cool however clearly it isn’t straightforward to make a automotive two tonnes or 2000 kilos with a battery pack, with three electrical engines we’re carrying. Final 12 months we have been fairly chubby. 

“This 12 months the workforce has achieved a implausible job however we’ve got the shock of latest laws coming to electrical automobiles. As an alternative of 2000kg it is 2100kg, so in any case this 12 months we shall be 100kg heavier than our opponents and we’re going to have just a little bit much less energy. That is one thing obscure. 

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“I do not prefer to create polemics. I do not prefer to go an excessive amount of into element however I’ll say it shocked me that the laws don’t assist someone like Audi which has taken the braveness to strive to enter these sustainable varieties of automobiles. 

“You try this and you discover out that the laws aren’t in your favour. That is one thing I might say that shocked myself.”

Audi RS Q e-tron E2

Picture by: Audi Communications Motorsport

Sainz believes the rise within the minimal weight of the Audi will significantly hamper it in direction of the tip of phases, when petrol-powered automobiles can have little gasoline remaining within the tank and therefore shall be at their lightest.

“We need to suppose that we are going to be shut [to our competitors],” stated Sainz. “We’re speaking a couple of 5 kilowatts distinction in energy [to T1+ cars] which isn’t quite a bit. After which clearly we’re carrying 100kg extra. 

“Whenever you speak in regards to the kilos initially of the stage, we can have a in all probability comparable weight as a result of others have to hold extra gasoline. However once we attain the tip of the stage we shall be 100kg chubby. 

“That is clearly not so good. In any case will probably be unattainable for us to go to the minimal weight of 2000kg, however as a precept it is obscure [the change in rules] from my perspective.”

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 predominant challengers subsequent 12 months, however he additionally thinks all three Audi drivers shall be within the combine.

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“Our predominant opponents are very clear,” he stated. “It is Toyota and Nasser, the largest menace 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 shall be there. 

“And Audi drivers. Mattias [Ekstrom] goes to be quick, Stephane [Peterhansel] is at all times there and he has gained so many instances. And I take into account myself in addition to one of many favourites. We’ve a robust workforce however our predominant opponents are very clear.”

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In contrast to teammate Sainz, 14-time Dakar winner Peterhansel was hesitant to talk out in opposition to the Steadiness of Efficiency system used to even out the pace of automobiles operating on electrical energy and standard gasoline, saying it’s best to go away this matter within the palms of the regulators.

“The stability of efficiency is at all times difficult to search out,” stated Peterhansel. “I believe that if the individuals from the FIA resolve this stability of efficiency, I believe it is honest. 

“However I by no means say I am blissful or not blissful. We’ve guidelines, we have to observe the principles and we have to do the most effective with the principles. 

“So if you happen to lose power to combat the choice of the FIA, you lose power for nothing as a result of they’ll by no means change for you. 

“An important factor is to deal with the event of our automotive, to do our greatest with the answer that we’ve got and we are going to see what is going to occur. No remark in regards to the BoP.”

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