Astara “Dream Team” to compete in the Dakar Rally 2023.


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Astara, a leading company in mobility services, presents today at its experience center in Madrid its plans for the next Dakar Rally, to be held in Saudi Arabia in January 2023. With a high-class drivers line-up, the ASTARA TEAM will be led by Laia Sanz-Maurizio Gerini, Carlos Checa-Marc Solà and Óscar Fuertes-Diego Vallejo. All of them will drive the ASTARA 01 Concept, which has further improved its performance to complete the Dakar with the smallest carbon footprint possible, aiming again to become the most sustainable vehicle and team in the race. Alongside them, eight support vehicles and a team of more than 30 people will work together to demonstrate that technological excellence and competition at the highest level are absolutely compatible with an environmentally friendly approach and diversity.

This is the second year of a very ambitious, long-term project to put Astara’s values into practice in the world’s most demanding competition. The goal of Astara is to Enable People Go Further, bringing the most efficient and intelligent technology and solutions – such as the e-fuel – to offer the most environmentally friendly mobility solutions for all needs.

Laia Sanz said: “I am very excited to be part of this project, with a much more sustainable vehicle, a team concerned about reducing and offsetting its carbon footprint and committed to diversity… I am confident that Maurizio and I will do a great job… and so will the whole ASTARA TEAM!

For Carlos Checa, “last year was just a contact point. Now, with ASTARA TEAM we have the means to aspire to more ambitious results; that’s why Marc Solà and I have prepared ourselves thoroughly”.

Óscar Fuertes adds: “I’m very excited to be back at Dakar Rally, which is always a huge challenge, but we are ready to overcome it with flying colours. Besides, I have my co- driver Diego Vallejo on my right and that gives me extra confidence. ”

Like last year, the ASTARA 01 Concept will be powered by e-fuel, but this time it will use 90% of it (vs 70% last year). Additionally, the car has undergone some improvements – less weight, more power or the possibility of carrying a third spare wheel – which is a step forward at a competitive level.

At the end of the Rally, the team will measure, report and compensate its carbon footprint -as done in the last edition- following standardized measurement protocols (GHG Protocol and ISO 14064 standard) extended to scopes 1, 2 and 3 in 2023. That is, the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions of the team will be analyzed, as well as other indirect emissions generated by third parties involved in the event (logistics, travel, etc).

Thus, the ASTARA TEAM returns with the determination to become the most sustainable and environmentally friendly team once again on the Dakar Rally.

ASTARA TEAM also adds new commitments, like its strong focus on diversity, with an important presence of women in the team, with Laia Sanz at the front, and professionals like Jessica Nebra -more than 25 years involved in the racing world- or Iona Hernández who, despite her youth, has experience in karting, Spanish and German touring car championships, the IMSA, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the European Le Mans Series, the WEC and the Dakar.

The ASTARA 01 Concept continues under the technical responsibility of SMC Motorsport, with Gonzalo de Andrés as main team leader.

The Dakar 2023 will be held for the fourth consecutive year in Saudi Arabia. It will start on 31 December on the Red Sea coast near Yanbu al-Bahr and finish on 15 January in Ar-Dammam, on the shores of the Persian Gulf. The route crosses the country from west to east and returns to the Empty Quarter, Rub al-Khali, the largest continuous sand desert in the world.


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Neil Pagulayan
You can catch him daily on Mellow 94.7's morning show he also contributes on DRIVE, Manila Bulletin's motoring section...

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