Three Countries Argentina, Chile and Peru
As the condor (rather than the crow) flies, almost 5,000 kilometres separate Mar del Plata from Lima. In 2012, the Dakar will be staging a pan-American adventure of more than 9,000 kilometres in total. Unlike previous year’s loops, the route will transport the rally from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to those of the Pacific, enabling its competitors to discover new lands and another aspect of South America. The scale of this challenge has also led to a change in the race’s format, which will include 14 days of racing in 2012. Constantly guided by the Andes Mountain range, the drivers and riders will be crossing the Atacama, and will experience in particular the diversity of the dunes as they head into Peru.
With an electric McRae Buggy this team will attempt to finish the 2012 Dakar Rally in line of course with the McRae family tradition of leading innovation and pushing the limits. In the 2012 rally an electric vehicle hopes to be the first in its class to complete such feat.
An Anglo Dutch team headed by Alister McRae (Brother of the tragically killed rally driver Scotsman Colin McRae) are building an ultra light vehicle powered by a electric motor that designed to cover the 9000 km route through Argentina, Chile and Peru, starting on the 1st of January 2012 from Mar del Plata in AR.
The car is based on a Pro Dakar McRae Buggy 4×2 that has been finishing rallys for the past two years in its petrol driven version. The new evolution will be powered by a 54KW/h Lithium Ion battery pack through a PM motor with 2000Nm (but it will be limited to 120 NM) of Torque and 200 KW power rating with a weight less than 40 KG .
“We are convinced we can do this, we have brought the ideal partners to prove a green concept in the most hostile and unknown racing environment known.” The International consortium is formed by Pro Dakar, All Green Vehicles in conjunction with the Technical Universities of Delft.”
“Range is the biggest issue and top priority. The difficult part of the rally is navigating through the rough terrain. We will have a custom made energy management system with 3 variable settings , eco, standard and full attack, that will help us choose the energy in the batteries required plus combined with the light weight of the car we can also extend the cars range.
For refueling we are currently working on two concepts. Fast charging 15 to 30 minutes to 90% soc at 400v. in refueling points or on race support vehicles and changing the battery pack completely.
An aerodynamically optimized body has been developed in conjunction with energy recovery shock absorbers that will turn kinetic engine from the ruts and bumps in to electrical energy.
The driver that will attempt to take the car to the finish line is the experimental Dutch driver Tim Coronel which mentioned “We wanted to do it for the challenge, driving electric could be fun, imagine all that instant torque!, the only thing we will miss will be the exhaust noise.
Stage Ten ( last stage in Chile )
Despres and Peterhansel are the Champions for Dakar 2012
While the last special was won by Norway’s Pål Anders Ullevålseter (motorcycles) and Robby Gordon (cars), France’s Cyril Despres and Stéphane Peterhansel took their fourth and tenth Dakars respectively, all categories included. The champions were applauded on the podium on Lima’s Plaza de Armas by a huge crowd which came to acclaim both the competitors and the arrival of the greatest rally raid in the world to Lima’s capital. All in all, 97 motorcycles, 12 quads, 78 cars and 60 trucks made it to the finishing line of the 33rd Dakar, i.e., 249 of the 443 vehicles which started the rally in Mar del Plata.