Astara to join next Dakar Rally

Astara race cars

Mobility services conglomerate Astara bared its plan to participate in the next Dakar Rally.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Who will comprise the Astara's driver lineup for the Dakar Rally next year?

    The Astara team driver roster will be made up of Laia Sanz, Maurizio Gerini, Carlos Checa, Marc Sola, Oscar Fuertes, and Diego Vallejo.
  • What is the team's goal in participating in the event?

    The team is again eyeing to become the most sustainable vehicle and team in the race.
  • Astara — who is also the exclusive distributor of Peugeot vehicles in the country — said that it will field Laia Sanz and Maurizio Gerini; Carlos Checa and Marc Solà; as well as Óscar Fuertes-Diego Vallejo in the competition that will be held in January next year. The aforementioned drivers will steer the Astara 01 Concept.

    Astara 2022

    The company said that it is again targeting to become the most sustainable vehicle and team in the race as the car has been further improved to complete the Dakar Rally with the smallest carbon footprint possible.

    The drivers are backed up by eight support vehicles and a team of more than 30 people.

    “This is the second year of a very ambitious, long-term project to put Astara's values into practice in the world's most demanding competition. The goal of Astara is to Enable People Go Further, bringing the most efficient and intelligent technology and solutions — such as the e-fuel — to offer the most environmentally friendly mobility solutions for all needs,” Astara said in a statement.

    Astara race car

    "I am very excited to be part of this project, with a much more sustainable vehicle, a team concerned about reducing and offsetting its carbon footprint and committed to diversity... I am confident that Maurizio and I will do a great job... and so will the whole Astara team!” Sanz said.

    Checa, for his part, described last year’s participation as “just a contact point.” Now, with Astara team,  we have the means to aspire to more ambitious results; that's why Marc Solà and I have prepared ourselves thoroughly,” he added.

    Further, Fuertes expressed confidence on competing the forthcoming event. "I'm very excited to be back at Dakar Rally, which is always a huge challenge, but we are ready to overcome it with flying colors. Besides, I have my co- driver Diego Vallejo on my right and that gives me extra confidence.”

    Although it will still be powered by e-fuel, the Astara 01 Concept has been tweaked to use 90 percent of it unlike before that it has utilized 70 percent. It has also been made lighter, more powerful and has the possibility of carrying a third spare wheel.

    Astara support

    Similar to what it did in the last edition, the team will measure, report and compensate its carbon footprint at the end of the Rally — following standardized measurement protocols (GHG Protocol and ISO 14064 standard) extended to scopes 1, 2 and 3 in 2023. This will cover the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions of the team and the third parties involved in the event.

    Further, the team added commitments such as strong focus on diversity, with an important presence of women in the team, with Sanz at the fore, and professionals like Jessica Nebra (more than 25 years involved in the racing world)  and Iona Hernández (who has experience in karting, Spanish and German touring car championships, the IMSA, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the European Le Mans Series, the WEC and the Dakar despite her young age).

    The Astara 01 Concept will continue to be under the technical responsibility of SMC Motorsport, with main team leader Gonzalo de Andrés at the helm.

    The Dakar Rally 2023 will be held for the fourth consecutive year in Saudi Arabia. It will start on December 31 on the Red Sea coast near Yanbu al-Bahr and finish on January 15 in Ar-Dammam, on the shores of the Persian Gulf. The route crosses the country from west to east and returns to the Empty Quarter, Rub al-Khali, the largest continuous sand desert in the world.

    Photos from Astara

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