Audi bags multiple accolades, 14th place overall at 2023 Dakar Rally

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Audi’s Dakar Rally team has achieved 14 podium results on 15 event days on the 2023 Dakar Rally using the RS Q e-tron, despite various setbacks.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • How many podium results did Audi win in the 2023 Dakar Rally?

    Per Audi, the team won 14 podium results at the 2023 Dakar Rally.
  • What place did Audi finish overall in the 2023 Dakar Rally?

    According to Audi, the team finished 14th place overall in the 2023 Dakar Rally
  • The brand’s Board Member for Technical Development Oliver Hoffmann, who visited the motorsport team on the final weekend in Saudi Arabia,  recognized many achievements.

    “The pace of our innovative Audi RS Q e-tron was good right from the start and also showed at the end. Unfortunately, we also had bad luck in the desert and many punctures. Despite the setbacks, the team celebrated a finish thanks to strong performances. We will now analyze all areas. A podium was our goal. It remains so, because we will definitely compete again in 2024,” said Hoffmann.

    audi dakar rally 2023 2

    Per Audi, the team  experienced 14 punctures on the first four desert stages costing the team valuable time. Further setbacks followed when Carlos Sainz destroyed his suspension in the third stage and experienced an accident in the sixth stage. Sainz reportedly suffered two fractures to his spine after the accident, forcing him and co-driver Lucas Cruz out of the race.

    “But then it seemed that nothing was going in our favor this year,” Sainz stated.

    Edouard Boulanger, on the other hand, was diagnosed with a vertebral injury after jumping off a dune. The French rally racer was reportedly treated by a specialist in Germany. Boulanger and 14-time Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel were then forced to retire from the rally.

    “Three stage results in the top three showed what was possible. However, I have no memory of my accident, which dashed all hope,” Peterhansel commented.

    audi dakar rally 2023

    All hopes, therefore, rested on Mattias Ekström and Emil Bergkvist. The Swedes, who are contesting only their third Dakar Rally, once again mastered the demanding competition with more than 4,200 special stage kilometers (km) and almost 8,900km in total as the best Audi team.

    “It was a tough rally: we never gave up even after the high-time losses. When we didn’t have confidence in the roadbook on individual days, we took some speed out, otherwise, we measured ourselves against the front runners,” said Ekström.

    In total, they were among the top three in the stage rankings six times during the 2023 Dakar Rally. Almost seven hours behind after repairs to their own car, but also their help for their teammate Sainz, meant 14th place overall in the end.

    “In some respects, the Dakar Rally has returned to its roots this year. The relentless pace, the setbacks for a number of top drivers, correspondingly large shifts in the standings, the length of many stages and the challenging terrain are all reminders of the past. I’m happy that we as a team with Audi managed this competition and made it possible to reach the finish. For Mattias and Emil, this discipline is still relatively new. Hats off to their performances,” said Q Motorsport Team Principal Sven Quandt.

    Photos from Audi

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