Prodrive announces Dakar effort

Legendary rallying organisation to take on cross-country classic

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Prodrive has announced it will develop an off-road T1 class car for next year’s Dakar Rally.

The Banbury firm, which will operate the program through a new company called Prodrive International, has joined forces with Bahrain-based sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat Holding Company to develop and cars in time for the second Saudi Arabian Dakar next January.

Prodrive chairman David Richards said: “It has been a long-held ambition of mine and Prodrive to compete in the Dakar Rally. To be able to do so with the Kingdom of Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat, and in Saudi Arabia, makes the prospect even more special as the Middle East is where Prodrive started its motorsport journey in 1984.

“Dakar is a new and challenging project for Prodrive, but one that I and the whole team in Banbury are relishing.”

Prodrive is no stranger to the Middle East, having won the 1984 and Middle East Rally Championship titles with Saeed Al-Hajri driving its Porsche 911 SC RS.

HE Khalid Al Rumaihi, Mumtalakat CEO, said: “Prodrive has participated in numerous regional and international motorsports events throughout its thirty-plus years of operation, winning six FIA World Rally Championships, five Le Mans titles and seven Middle East Rally Championships.

“We’re very proud of the Rally’s move to the region and in partnering with Prodrive, we expand Bahrain’s significant motorsport heritage, having established the Bahrain International Circuit to host Formula 1 in the Middle East for the first time in 2004.”

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Credit: Prodrive