The return of the FIA World Rally Championship to the UAE later this month incorporates all the other classic motorsport components, with a big focus on the record-breaking car from earlier this year.
Sebastien Loeb took six consecutive victories in the final stages of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia aboard a Prodrive Hunter, a record in the 34-year history of the Dakar Rally that was set by one of the sport’s legendary superstars, Ari Vatanen.
The Prodrive Hunter had won nine of the 14 stages of the inaugural FIA World Cross Country Rally Championship round at the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia, and Loeb, thanks to his impressive performances, was able to lead the championship with the Bahrain Red Extreme team to move forward and prepare for the second round of the championship in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in United Arab Emirates, which takes place from February 26 to March 3, 2023.
The nine-time World Rally Champion, Loeb, is eagerly awaiting his return to action in the UAE, where a road legal version of the Prodrive Hunter is now available for driving on the road, as well as in the desert.
The insights of Loeb, co-driver Fabian Lorquin and the Bahrain Red Extreme team helped Prodrive develop the new Hunter on-road vehicle into the world’s first all-terrain vehicle, and the company is proceeding with a limited number of units built in the UK to the individual specifications of a select number of supercar enthusiasts.
Sebastien Loeb said: “Of course our mission is to try to win rallies, and after the results in the Dakar, we are excited about the championship, and we are looking forward to the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, which is another great test for us, the team and the car .. I also hope to drive the road version of the Hunter car for the first time, And I see how Prodrive built this vehicle, based on the pedigree of a rally car for everyday use.”
The Hunter, an SUV, boasts 600hp, with 50% more power than the rally car version that brought the Bahrain Red Extreme team to victory in the FIA World Cup series.
Loeb added: “There are four rounds left of the championship, and a lot can happen in the championship over the next few months, so our goal is to benefit from the experience we gained from the Dakar Rally and we will try to win the Abu Dhabi Desert Rally this year, and strengthen our lead in the championship as a whole.”
And if he can find enough time to test the Hunter supercar in the UAE, Loeb won’t need to slow down in the desert. The car accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in less than four seconds, and its top speed is about 250 km/h. It also has a comfortable speed for downtown driving.
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