Quotes from Team Audi Sport on the Dakar Rally victory

Quotes from Team Audi Sport on the Dakar Rally victory

Audi made history at the 2024 Dakar Rally with the first victory for an electric drive with a high-voltage battery and energy converter.
In addition to Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz, who led the rally for eight stages, the two other driver teams also recorded individual successes.
Stéphane Peterhansel/Edouard Boulanger achieved a stage win, Mattias Ekström/Emil Bergkvist won two daily classifications including the prologue.
The organizers, drivers and co-drivers gave their retrospective assessments at the finish line.

Rolf Michl, Head of Audi Motorsport:
“It is difficult to put this victory into words. We have written a piece of motorsport history. It will take a few more days for this to really sink in. This sport is also about luck. We lacked that last year. We had an amazing team that never gave up, even when we had setbacks. If you trust your team, they can even achieve the seemingly impossible. We overcame this challenge with long and hard work. Our winners Carlos and Lucas are both exceptional. Carlos is not only a top driver, but a legend with a big heart who cares about people, immerses himself in every detail and is never satisfied with himself. It is an honor and a merit that he has competed for our team. Equally, this success would not have been possible without Lucas’ conscientious work and skill. A huge thank you to the whole team.”

Sven Quandt, Team principal Q Motorsport:
“It was a sporting competition that lasted three years. Today, we have made history with this concept and prevailed against the previous drive systems. It shows that Audi is ahead of the competition. This electric drive concept, which we spent three years improving, was exactly right. And the competition was extremely exciting. The final days of the rally were particularly tough. We are very relieved after Carlos and Lucas’ victory. When Sébastien Loeb came closer and closer over the past few days, I was nervous. It was only when the tide turned on the penultimate day that I was a little more relaxed. The teamwork worked perfectly for us. The spirit was simply good. You can win with people like that.”

Carlos Sainz (#204), 1st place:
“I am very happy for Audi, the many fans of the brand and my fellow countrymen. This victory means a lot to me. It’s my fourth victory with the fourth different brand. The team has developed a very special concept with which we are the first in the Dakar Rally. Only Audi was brave enough to take this risk. I’m happy that we’ve made history with it. And in one of the toughest editions of this rally that I have experienced. My family is here, as is the whole Audi family. Thanks to the brand, to Rolf Michl and Sven Quandt, who believed in us and made this possible. And thanks to Mattias, Emil, Stéphane and Edouard, who helped us so much. This is a great victory.”

Lucas Cruz (#204), 1st place:
“That’s a good feeling. I am very happy for the team. This enthusiastic team has built a very complex car for us. And with this concept we have now won the Dakar. I am very grateful to everyone. The stress and tension were particularly high during this rally. Day after day we tackled extremely tough stages and our car ran flawlessly.”

Mattias Ekström (#207), 48th place:
“I’m happy with my driving. My co-driver Emil also did a good job. We had a strategy in place, which we followed. After a good prologue, the first week went very satisfactorily. We were second behind Carlos Sainz. Our problem with the rear axle then ruined our chances. So we then supported Carlos to help the team as much as possible. We learned a lot again in this edition of the rally. And I’m obviously delighted for Audi, for Carlos and for Lucas after this fine victory, even though our own goal was unfortunately not achieved.”

Emil Bergkvist (#207), 48th place:
“I am very happy for Audi Sport. Carlos and Lucas deserve this success. For us, the rally has the aftertaste that we lost a lot of time and therefore all our chances due to a problem. Afterwards, we were able to help out our teammates on the stages, for example with tires.”

Stéphane Peterhansel (#202), 54th place:
“The overall result is a great satisfaction for the team. I am delighted for Carlos and Lucas and the entire team of Rolf Michl and Sven Quandt. The project was extremely challenging due to the technology. After three years, Audi was ready to win and is celebrating the first success of an electric drive. We can all be proud of this, even if we are a little disappointed that things didn’t go better for our car. This was not our Dakar. We had a technical problem in the first week and again at the very end, which is why we had to abandon the last stage. But all three driver teams have worked very well together for years to achieve this success. The great result of Carlos and Lucas will remain in everyone’s memory.”

Edouard Boulanger (#202), 54th place:
“Today we all won as a team. That’s the feeling we return home with from this rally. Everyone contributed to this great result. Unfortunately, things didn’t go so well for Stéphane’s and my car and we had some damage at the end. However, the team with Carlos and Lucas achieved the main goal and showed that the RS Q e-tron is a winner. Congratulations to Carlos and Lucas, who managed a flawless race. Carlos is already 61 years old. He has always withstood the pressure from Sébastien Loeb. Of course, Mattias, Emil and we helped Carlos in various situations. Thanks to the whole team. It was only eight or nine months ago that various new people joined the team, who worked very hard to understand everything and make this result possible with their work.”

Audi Media Center



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