Tough test for Audi in Morocco
- All three driver pairings in action at Morocco Rally
- Focus on set-up work with the Audi RS Q e-tron
- Team Audi Sport contests the Morocco Rally in classification for the first time
Team Audi Sport is using October to thoroughly prepare for the 2024 Dakar Rally. The brand will compete in the Morocco Rally with three Audi RS Q e-tron cars for the driver teams Mattias Ekström/Emil Bergkvist, Stéphane Peterhansel/Edouard Boulanger and Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz in classification for the first time.
Step by step, Team Audi Sport is increasing the pace and the demands with a view to the big goal next January: In May, there was a first season test in Saudi Arabia. After further testing in Zaragoza, Spain, the team participated in the Baja Aragon. “October is now marked by the most intensive work since the Dakar Rally,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Rolf Michl. “Now the whole team can work in competitive mode again. The Morocco Rally is ideal for this in terms of duration and also with regard to the stages because the terrain reflects the versatile requirements of the Dakar Rally well.”
A prologue and five rally stages await the participants of the Rally du Maroc from October 13 to 18. The schedule includes 1,449 timed kilometers and a total distance of 2,219 kilometers. Team Audi Sport participated outside the classification last year. Now it will meet tough competition from Toyota, Ford and Prodrive, among others, at the fifth round of the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship as a registered participant. “An excellent field has been announced,” says Rolf Michl. “This is a good assessment of our current status for us. At the same time, it helps the entire team to switch back into competitive mode and verify everything we have already implemented with a view to the 2024 Dakar Rally.” The varied character of the rally with gravel roads, sand and dunes is a representative cross-section that is good for preparing for the Dakar Rally.
In the run-up to the event, Team Audi Sport completed six days of testing in Morocco together with Q Motorsport from October 3 to 8. Each of the three driver pairings was in action for two days. In total, the Audi RS Q e-tron reeled off more than 3,000 kilometers. In the process, the team succeeded in further improving the set-up and testing new tires and components. However, in the course of increasing loads and higher demands on the prototype, the engineers also noted anomalies in one of the cooling systems.