After Audi, the Renault group will sign its return to the Dakar during the 2025 edition, thanks to the commitment of its Dacia brand.
While attention is focused this week on Alpine and the presentation of its new single-seater for the 2023 Formula 1 season, the rest of the Renault group is busy behind the scenes. According to information from our colleagues at France infothe French group would be preparing its return to a flagship discipline of motorsport: the Dakar.
Renault is not at its first attempt. Some remember the Marreau brothers in particular, who notably entered a 4L and a Renault 20, victorious in the years 1982. More recently, it was a blue buggy marked with the Elf and Gauloises logos which won the event twice in a row, in 1999 and 2000. At the wheel of the prototype imitating a first-generation Mégane, driver Jean-Louis Schlesser.
A prototype mimicking the future Duster
Twenty years later, Renault is thinking of returning to the tracks of the Dakar, through its Dacia brand. Originally, the Russian manufacturer Lada (also belonging to the group) was approached, but the current geopolitics against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine has decided otherwise. It is therefore Dacia which should enter a prototype, probably hybrid, imitating the future Duster for the 2025 edition of the event. Our in-house illustrator Julien Jodry has already imagined it.
According to information from our colleagues, it is Bruno Famin (current executive director of Alpine and ex-boss of Peugeot Sport during the hat-trick on the Dakar between 2016 and 2018) who is in charge of the project. Davide Brivio, race director of the Alpine F1 team and close friend of Luca De Meo, discreetly took a lead last season, at the bivouac in Morocco and Andalusia.
New attempt for Dacia
Dacia is not its first attempt either. An Argentinian team trained by driver Emiliano Spataro entered a Dacia Duster-style prototype between 2013 and 2018, with the discreet support of Renault Sport Technologies. In six participations, the team’s best score is 14th place.
For the 2025 edition of the Dakar, Dacia could get help from the British specialist Prodrive, which has achieved good results over the past two years with the BRX Hunter, driven by Sébastien Loeb. The other specialist, M-Sport, was also approached but has been linked to Ford for several years.
Photo : illustration J.Jodry.
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