A positive first contact with Morocco’s dunes for Isidre Esteve

3 minutes

The Repsol Rally Team driver finished the first part of the marathon stage in 21st overall place and 8th place for the T1.2 category. The Oliana-born driver is satisfied with how his Sodicars BV6 prototype with adapted hand controls performed on the sand.

Dunas en Marruecos Repsol Rally Team
A positive first contact with Morocco’s dunes for Isidre Esteve

We didn’t have any problems on the dunes and we enjoyed ourselves immensely thanks to the car’s power.


Isidre Esteve

Isidre Esteve was finally able to put his Dakar prototype to the test on the dunes. Today, the Repsol Rally Team driver finished the third stage of the Morocco Rally and first part of the ever-feared marathon stage without any issues. After part of the race was called off yesterday when rivers burst their banks, the organisers decided to shorten the Sunday segment and the driver from Lérida finished on 21st overall place and 8th for the T1.2 category, the exact same places he occupies in the world standings.

Initially, the special for this Sunday, covering nearly 360 miles (580 km), was supposed to be the longest segment of the rally. However, as a precautionary measure in view of the floods, Race Direction opted to shorten the segment to just 89 miles (143 km). Isidre Esteve covered this distance in less than two hours — 1 hour, 56 minutes, and 33 seconds, to be exact.

‘We had our doubts about how this car would fare on the dunes and, honestly, I am very pleased, because we didn’t have a single problem. We passed by places where we saw several drivers stuck and we were able to confirm that, thanks to the car’s power, we could enjoy the ride where others ran into trouble’, explained Isidre Esteve, pleased with the performance of the vehicle he will take to the 2018 Dakar. The Sodicars BV6 prototype boasts a 3-litre, 335-hp BMW biturbo diesel engine and adapted hand controls on the steering wheel.

rally marruecos dunas

‘The car’s perfect. We’ve driven carefully and the engine had basically no problems today. We are moving forward to tomorrow’s stage with absolute confidence and we’re very eager to continue to get mileage under our belts‘, the Repsol and Onyx Seguros driver insisted. As this is the first part of the marathon stage, the caravan will spend a night at the Erg Lihoudi campsite. There, they will be unable to receive any external assistance, so avoiding accidents was of crucial importance today.

Past the halfway point at the Morocco Rally, Isidre Esteve and his co-pilot Txema Villalobos occupy 21st overall place and 8th place for the T1.2 category, which encompasses modified diesel 4x4s. The race time for the Repsol Rally Team after the prologue and first three stages is 9 hours, 13 minutes, and 52 seconds.

On Monday, drivers will race in the second-to-last part of the marathon stage. The challenge should have consisted of 283 timed miles (455 km) and highly varied roads, with dunes, quick tracks, and the ever-dangerous fesh fesh. Last night, however, the organisers announced they would be shortening the trajectory to 106 miles (170 km) because of flooding.

‘It’s a pity, because this is the ideal terrain to continue preparing for the upcoming Dakar rally and to continue getting a feel for this reliable and competitive car. The more miles we can drive down here, the better for the team’, a motivated Isidre Esteve concluded.

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