Dacia announced today that it’s going racing in the Dakar Rally. The automaker said it would begin competing in the World Rally-Raid Championship in 2025, battling in the T1+ category as a manufacturer. Dacia CEO Denis Le Vot said the rally would test the automaker’s “true robustness” and show its “commitment to low-carbon mobility.”
Dacia didn’t provide any significant details about its race car. However, the automaker did reveal that it would use synthetic fuel supplied by Aramco. The automaker isn’t alone in experimenting with synthetic fuels.
Gallery: Dacia To Race In Dakar Rally 2025
Porsche began producing its own late last year in Chile, using the first drops of the stuff to fill up a 911, but don’t expect it to save the internal combustion engine just yet. Toyota said in May that the technology still needed to evolve before it was ready for mass production.
Piloting Dacia’s campaign into the series will be Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez Herrero. The pair bring several years of Dakar Rally racing experience to Dacia’s factory program.
Herrero, 31, has already raced in seven rallies, becoming the first Spanish woman in the car category to finish the race in 2017. Loeb, a nine-time winner of the World Rally Championship, has been racing the Dakar Rally since 2016.
Dacia will begin testing prototypes next year at the Rallye de Maroc, and Loeb and Herrero will be behind the wheel during the test phase. The automaker says it’ll use the rally as a testing ground and a laboratory, and it won’t be racing alone.
The automaker’s factory program will also draw on expertise from Prodrive, the British motorsport group. It has been participating in the Dakar Rally and Rally-Raid since 2020. Prodrive won second place overall in 2022 and 2023 with Loeb, who has been racing with the outfit since 2021.
The Dakar Rally is a grueling off-road test many automakers have competed in over its 45-year history. This year’s running covered over 3,000 miles of desert in just two weeks, and the challenge continues to draw new competitors.
Ford announced earlier this month that it would enter next year’s Dakar Rally, with the Blue Oval gearing up for a multi-year effort. It’ll field a radical Ranger Raptor in the T1+category, which we will see compete against Dacia’s entrant in 2025.
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