Sébastien Loeb Tests the New Dacia Sandrider

Published June 6, 2024 at 10:16

The Dacia Sandrider impresses at Château de Lastours
Sébastien Loeb, Nasser Al-Attiyah, and Cristina Gutiérrez have tested the Dacia Sandrider at Château de Lastours, revealing its promising performance ahead of the Rallye du Maroc in October and the Dakar 2025 in January.


Dacia's latest 4x4, the Sandrider, has received enthusiastic feedback from some of the biggest names in rallying. During testing sessions held at Château de Lastours in late May, the vehicle demonstrated impressive capabilities, with each driver expressing high praise.

Nasser Al-Attiyah's Verdict
Qatari rally legend Nasser Al-Attiyah was particularly impressed with the Sandrider's performance. He shared his thoughts:

"I was truly impressed. I found the Dacia Sandrider easy to drive, fast, and powerful. We covered 270 kilometers on the first day and the same amount on the second day. There were no issues, and we had a lot of fun in the car. This is a very positive sign for the upcoming tests, and I'm excited to go to Morocco."

Al-Attiyah's excitement indicates a bright future for the vehicle in the competitive rally scene.

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Cristina Gutiérrez's Experience
For Cristina Gutiérrez, the Sandrider's test runs were her first experience with a vehicle meeting T1+ regulations. Reflecting on her time with the car, she said:

"I feel very comfortable in the car, which makes my adaptation to the T1+ category easier, a significant shift from the T3 category I've competed in so far. There are still many important test days ahead, but overall, we are very satisfied with the team's work. We couldn't ask for more from the car at this stage of development, and I am really impressed by the Dacia Sandrider's performance."

Gutiérrez's feedback underscores the vehicle's potential and her smooth transition into the higher category.


Sébastien Loeb's Take
Sébastien Loeb, the nine-time World Rally Champion, also shared his positive experiences with the Sandrider. Summarizing his test sessions, he commented:

"The tests went very well. I spent a day in the UK and two days in France. We worked on the suspension and the differential to find a good balance with the car, and I am really pleased with the result. The engine performed perfectly from the start, and we had no issues with the car. It's the first time I've driven such a well-developed car from the initial runs, and I can't wait to continue testing in Morocco."

Loeb's remarks highlight the exceptional engineering of the Sandrider, which has proven reliable even in its early tests.

Technical Insights from Philip Dunabin
Philip Dunabin, Prodrive's Technical Director overseeing the Sandrider's development, provided a comprehensive summary of the tests. He focused on the progress made and the key areas for upcoming trials:

"We conducted a series of initial tests before heading to Morocco for our first session in a real Rally-Raid environment. So far, everything has gone surprisingly well, with no serious issues. We successfully validated all the fundamental elements of the engine, worked more extensively than expected on the suspension settings, and revisited the transmission settings concerning the differential.


The suspension was thoroughly examined, not only during the tests at Sweet Lamb but also during the tests at Château de Lastours. Now, we have a lot of work ahead to make the final adjustments and ensure the car is ready for competition. During the tests, we noticed some issues with crew installation in the car that we need to improve, but this should be sorted out for our next session in Morocco. Overall, the feeling is very positive. Now, everyone is working tirelessly to prepare for Morocco, and we are eager to continue our preparations for the Dakar there."

Dunabin's detailed account portrays a promising outlook for the Sandrider's readiness as it gears up for more rigorous challenges.

Looking Ahead
With such positive feedback and successful tests behind them, Loeb, Al-Attiyah, Gutiérrez, and the entire Dacia team are eagerly anticipating the upcoming challenges in the Rallye du Maroc and the Dakar 2025. The Sandrider's early performance suggests it is on its way to becoming a significant contender in the rally racing arena.

Credit: Top Gear
June 6   |   1 answers
Sébastien Loeb Tests the New Dacia Sandrider

Will the Dacia Sandrider dominate the upcoming rally races?

Yes, it shows incredible promise.00 %
Possibly, but it needs more tests.00 %
I'm skeptical about its performance.00 %
No, other vehicles are more competitive.00 %
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