14 September 2022 - Banbury, United Kingdom. GCK Motorsport and Guerlain Chicherit will be behind the wheel of a Prodrive Hunter in the forthcoming Rallye du Maroc and then the 2023 Dakar rally in Saudi Arabia before a full World Rally Raid Championship campaign in 2023. The car will be fully run by BRX with regard to engineering, logistics and technical support as the car will line up alongside Vaidotas Žala’s identical Prodrive Hunter for the Dakar.
From GCK Motorsport
GCK Motorsport and Guerlain Chicherit will be fielding a Prodrive Hunter at the Dakar for the next two years. The nub of the ambitious programme is a high-potential biofuel vehicle which should help the French outfit clock up the experience they need to achieve their ultimate aim of winning the gruelling race with a hydrogen-powered car.
GCK Motorsport and Guerlain Chicherit have teamed with Prodrive to race the Hunter 4WD T1+ in the 2022 Rallye du Maroc (1-6 October), the next two Dakar rallies and the full season of the 2023 World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC). Frenchmen Guerlain Chicherit and co-driver Alex Winocq begin their new adventure in a vehicle identical to the one that earned second place for Sébastien Loeb and Fabian Lurquin at this year’s Dakar. In line with his stance on ecology, Chicherit’s V6 turbocharged 4WD machine will run on Prodrive EcoPower sustainable fuel, made from agricultural waste, which emits 80% less greenhouse gas than regular petrol.
GCK Motorsport and Prodrive engineers will continue working closely together throughout the year, collecting valuable data for the forthcoming GCK H2 programme, which has its sights set on a Dakar win with a hydrogen-powered vehicle.
For this fantastic adventure, Guerlain Chicherit will be kitted out as Mad Max to match his car’s post-apocalyptic livery. Fit for a film set!
Guerlain Chicherit said:
I was happy to be back at the Dakar earlier this year. Unfortunately, we were made only too aware of the handicap two-wheel drive cars like our GCK Thunder have to deal with. So, this time, we’ve opted for AWD. Competition is stiff. At least ten cars are capable of winning. But I think we are in with a chance of being out in front, especially as the course is difficult, very sandy, which is what I like, so I hope that we can clinch it. Whatever happens, the Prodrive programme will be beneficial to GCK Motorsport because it is part of a learning curve. The team needs to build up the confidence to take a hydrogen car to the top in the future.
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NOTES TO EDITORS
About Bahrain Raid Xtreme
A joint partnership between the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (Mumtalakat), the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and Prodrive the British motorsport and engineering group formed the joint venture Prodrive International in 2020. Building on Prodrive’s extensive experience in developing championship winning race and rally cars, its aim is design and manufacture cars to compete in the Dakar Rally and World Rally Raid Championship. BRX achieved the best finishing position, 5 with Nani Roma on debut in 2021, and 2 with Sebastien Loeb in 2021. Its Hunter cars run Prodrive EcoPower, a sustainable fuel made from agricultural waste by BRX team partner Coryton. The fuel reduces CO2 emissions by 80% compared to standard fuel.
Prodrive is one of the world’s largest and most successful motorsport and technology businesses. Over 500 staff are employed across its Banbury headquarters and composites manufacturing facility in Milton Keynes. While the company is perhaps best known for motorsport, today it is just one part of an organisation that in the last decade has diversified to become a technology business working in a range of sectors and providing a range of services. Within the Prodrive Group, there are four distinct but interconnected business areas: Motorsport, operating race and rally programmes for vehicle manufacturers and global brands; Advanced Technology, providing innovative technology for the automotive, aerospace, defence, and marine sectors; Composites, developing lightweight composite components for the automotive, aerospace and marine sectors; and Brand& developing bespoke clothing and accessories for leading brands.
About Guerlain Chicherit
Born on 20 May 1978, Guerlain Chicherit made a name for himself in the 2000s as four-time freeride ski world champion. In 2005 he finished 49th in his first Dakar rally. The following year he climbed 40 places, and was fifth in 2020, his best result so far, including a stage win. In 2009 he won the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup, taking the Desert Challenge in Abu Dhabi and the Transibérico along the way. After a six-year hiatus, he came back with his own outfit – GCK Motorsport – and a plan to win the Dakar with a zero-emission hydrogen-powered vehicle by 2027.
About GCK Motorsport
Founded in 2017 by Guerlain Chicherit, GCK Motorsport showed excellent potential from the start with several podium places in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. In 2020 the team joined Green Corp Konnection (GCK), a group of industrial companies promoting innovative technologies for greener mobility. The racing arm of the group is a test bed for the ground-breaking solutions, serving to prove their reliability and high-performance in gruelling real-life conditions. One of the group’s targets is to be the first to win the Dakar with a hydrogen-powered car.