April 19, 2024
Automotive GCC Saudi Arabia Sport

How Audi won the Dakar Rally 2024 with Sainz-Cruz

Audi RS Q e-tron performs admirably well

Audi won the Dakar Rally 2024 (January 5-19) in a historic triumph, with the dynamic duo of Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz securing their fourth victory, each with a different brand. The victory marked the culmination of Audi’s illustrious motorsport journey, spanning various disciplines since 1980.

The winning Audi RS Q e-tron, with chassis number 110, completed a gruelling 13,934km during the Dakar Rally 2024, overcoming extreme conditions and challenges.

Dakar Rally 2024
(R-L) Team Audi Sport (Audi RS Q e-tron) and Bahrain Raid Xtreme (Prodrive Hunter) during Stage 6 of the Dakar 2024 on January 11, 2024, in Subaytah, Saudi Arabia. Image: Eric Vargiolu/DPPI

Dr Leonardo Pascali, Audi’s Technical Director behind the Dakar project since 2023, described the win as the “best professional experience” of his life.

Joan Navarro, Audi’s experienced vehicle engineer, played a pivotal role as Sainz’s race engineer, contributing to the team’s success in the Dakar Rally 2024 edition. Despite intense loads, key components of the winning car remained unchanged throughout the rally, showcasing Audi’s engineering prowess.

Good performance

The Dakar Rally’s diverse terrains tested the Audi RS Q e-tron’s limits, reaching a remarkable 17km/h for over four minutes on pure off-road tracks. The Empty Quarter stage posed a different challenge: the vehicle navigated mountain-like dunes at an average speed of 40-50km/h.

Dakar Rally 2024
Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz secured their fourth victory, each with a different brand. Image: Audi

Cruz’s flawless navigation skills were instrumental in the team’s success, efficiently choosing routes and minimising errors.

The strategic brilliance of Rolf Michl, Head of Audi Motorsport and Sven Quandt, Team Principal, who opted to lose time on the fifth stage, paid off, securing first and second positions for Audi after the sixth leg.

Winning streak

Sainz’s calculated driving and the efficient electric drive of the Audi RS Q e-tron, with intelligent energy recovery, contributed to the victory.

Dakar Rally 2024
Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz in their Audi RS Q e-tron during Stage 8 of the Dakar 2024 on January 10, 2024, between Al-Hofuf and Subaytah, Saudi Arabia. Image: Florent Gooden/DPPI

Sainz’s son, Carlos Sainz Jr., revealed his involvement in strategising with his father, advising him to preserve energy over the long-distance event.

The Audi team’s resilience was evident as they overcame various obstacles on and off the track. The rally days saw the Audi RS Q e-tron experience 11 tyre punctures, but the Audi mechanics efficiently managed the situation. The team’s spirit remained high, even during marathon stages, with a football table providing recreational relief.

Dakar Rally 2024
The Dakar Rally’s diverse terrains tested the Audi RS Q e-tron’s limits. Image: Audi

As Sainz crossed the finish line adorned with the Spanish flag, emotional dedications and signatures from Spanish-speaking team members adorned ‘La Rojigualda,’ expressing pride in the success. The surprise arrival of Sainz’s son and family added a poignant touch to the victory celebration.

Featured image: Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz in their Audi RS Q e-tron during Stage 8 of the Dakar 2024 on January 15, 2024, between Al Duwadimi and Hail, Saudi Arabia. Image: Marcin Kin/DPPI

Last Updated on 2 months by Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, aerospace, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, automotive, and fashion verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
    Follow Me:

    Related Posts

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *