In their debut rally and only their fourth stage driving their Prodrive Hunter, Marcos Baumgart/Kleber Cincea took a truly fantastic third place over the 248 kilometres through the desert around Puerta Peñasco. For the pair to be only 3m 51 secs behind the reigning Rally Raid world champion is even more impressive as they continue to learn the Hunter, the rally, some dunes, the intricacies of this type of navigation and that they lost some time at a junction. Had it not been for a 3 minute penalty applied after the stage, it would have been a second place in the classification.
When both X Rally cars arrived back in service, the smiles on everyone’s faces said it all as the second car of Cristian Baumgart/Alberto Andreotti backed up the speed of Marcos between the cactus with an 8th place finish. Both cars are inside the top 8 overall with one final stage remaining.
The speed continued with Guerlain Chicherit/Alex Winocq in the GCK Motorsport Hunter who were quickest of all just after the half way point today. Happy with the pace and speed Guerlain had, an electrical glitch cruelly stopped him in the stage to deprive him of a near certain win. The car is already fixed and ready for another big push tomorrow up to San Luis Rio Colorado.
“A little dusty in there but we had good pace again as we learn the car more with the kilometres. We’re getting closer to the car’s limit but still we’re a little bit back of what it will ultimately do but we’re very happy with this stage and second place behind a world champion. We’re very happy.”
“Today wasn’t the best day but we’ve finished the stage before a big push tomorrow, the last day. At the start there was a junction and we went the wrong way and maybe lost two minutes which was annoying so early on in the day but we fought hard from then on. We lost the front bodywork off the car in a big landing but one of the photographers brought it back so we can save the parts from it so thank you to him.”
“Like every stage this week I was going very well. The speed was good today as before it was too soft on the rear so we’ve gone back to the settings we had in Morocco last year when I was really happy and I got my confidence right away. We were driving at the right speed without going mad to catch Nasser but we had this alternator problem appear. We switched off everything to try to save it but it stopped after a while; a real shame but we’ll be back again tomorrow to fight once more.”
Bahrain Raid Xtreme Team Principal
“What an excellent result for the X Rally side of the service area as finishing in 2nd place in a world championship event is very impressive after only four stages with the car and without any previous testing. They’re very happy and comfortable with the car and we’ll keep the momentum, improve every day and then take the cars to Brazil where hopefully they’ll push to win their home rally there. For GCK and Guerlain they were leading the day and had brilliant speed but had to stop with an electrical problem but we’ve got it back and be ready to battle for the stage win tomorrow.”
SONORA RALLY , STAGE 4
Marco Baumgart/Kleber Cincea - Prodrive Hunter - 5th +26m 06s
Christian Baumgart/Beco Andreotti - Prodrive Hunter - 8th +37m 04s
Guerlain Chicherit/Alex Winocq - Prodrive Hunter - 11th +18h 25m 09s
- ENDS -
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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.