We are very happy, because the first race is always a question mark and you never know if things will turn out well
Isidre Esteve does not cease to surprise us. Once again, he has shown his drive to overcome obstacles, quickly adapting to the new vehicle with which he seeks to regain his position among the elite at the next Dakar Rally. At the Baja Aragón competition that came to a close today, the Repsol Rally Team driver has had an amazing performance, coming in 19th overall, fifth in the T1.2 category, and second in the Spanish Off-Road Rally Championship. “We couldn’t have started this project better and the results are encouraging for us. Most importantly, we can still get a lot better”, he declared.
Isidre Esteve wore a big smile this Sunday in Teruel when he got out of his new Sodicars BV6 prototype, with which he will compete in the upcoming Dakar Rally. “We are very happy because the first race is always a question mark and you never know if things will turn out well, if the car will deliver as you expected, if you’ll adapt to it well, if you’ll manage to go fast…all of these doubts were dispelled during the Baja Aragón competition because the car proved to have enormous potential. We adapted quickly and we know what we have to do”, Isidre Esteve explained.
Next to his co-driver, Txema Villalobos, Isidre Esteve took on the Baja Aragón competition with the aim of testing his new vehicle. He wanted to get mileage under his belt to get to know the specifics of the Sodicars Racing BV6 prototype, which boasts a 3-litre, 335-hp BMW biturbo diesel engine and adapted hand controls on the steering wheel which have given him a few problems.
“The Italian company Guidosimplex has adapted the brake grip, the clutch, and the accelerator well, but, when you change from one car to another, many a time the end result isn’t the one you expected. This happened to us this time. The brake is too soft and we have trouble bringing the vehicle to a stop. To finish the race, we decided to change our driving style, knowing the brake wasn’t blocking and only bringing the car to a smooth stop”, he revealed.
Though faced with this setback, Esteve was able to secure excellent results. Finishing among the top 20 in a scored trial for the Cross-Country Rally World Cup, which gathered top-level drivers, is a clear indication of how quickly Isidre Esteve is adapting to a vehicle that forces him to fine-tune his ability to control by hand steering, brakes, accelerator, and a sequential transmission, something entirely new to him. “On Friday, I had a hard time adapting to the adapted wheel and sequential transmission, but, this Sunday, I had it under control. When the controls begin to give us the results we expect, we’re going to improve a great deal. We have a lot of work ahead of us to get to the 2018 Dakar Rally at our best,, he concluded.
The more than 310 miles (500 kilometres) traversed between Friday and Sunday have been the perfect opportunity for the Repsol and Onyx Seguros driver to move his project forward. Today, at the last stage of the Baja Aragón, Esteve has moved up another five positions. Added to yesterday’s 12, these have catapulted him to 19th place overall, with a total of seven hours, 51 minutes, and 36 seconds under his belt.
The next stop for the Repsol Rally Team is the Rally of Morocco, to be held from 4th to 10th October, where Isidre Esteve will drive his new Dakar prototype in the desert for the first time.