Dacia sends its racing team out in winters to drift across ice and snow for the Andros Trophy. But when the summer rolls around, even the snow on the French Alps begins to thaw. What's an ice racing team to do? Why, head to Pikes Peak, of course.
The international hill climb event is coming around again next month, and when it does, the likes of Monster Tajima and Rhys Millen will have an interesting new challenger on its hands. And after months of reports and teasers, you're looking at the finish product.
A joint effort between Dacia, Renaultsport, a number of independent firms and driver Jean-Phillipe Dayraut who brought them all together, the Dacia Duster "No Limit" was built for the Unlimited class at Pikes Peak, where (contrary to just about any other form of motorsport) there are essentially no restrictions placed on a car's specifications. As a result, the purpose-built racer packs the twin-turbo 3.8-liter V6 from a Nissan GT-R (tuned to 850 horsepower), which is mounted amidships behind the cabin and mated to a six-speed sequential racing gearbox. All of that mechanical chutzpah is kept down by the most aggressive aerodynamics package this side of an F-35 Lightning.
It's a beast of a car, and we can't wait to see Dayraut – the reigning three-time Andros Trophy champion – take its wheel at the Peak on June 26. In the meantime, check out the extensive high-res image gallery for a closer look and follow the jump for the full press release.
Dacia Duster « No Limit » : poised to tackle the world's most prestigious hill climb event
Dacia has decided to take on the world's most famous and most challenging hill climb – the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb – which will take place in Colorado, USA, on June 26.
Dacia will enter the American event with a purpose-built 850hp prototype, Dacia Duster 'No Limit'. The car will be driven by three-time Trophée Andros champion Jean-Philippe Dayraut whose ambitious target is quite simply to challenge for the win.
DACIA: A SUCCESS BLEND OF AUDACITY AND ENTHUSIASM
The Renault Group brand Dacia has caused a genuine stir in the motoring world.
In the space of just seven years of consistent growth, it has become one of the market's mainstream players. Indeed, thanks to a range of particularly reliable, spacious and carefully designed vehicles which all deliver an unbeatable performance and equipment package for their price, Dacia has emerged as one of the industry's genuine success stories.
Launched in April 2010, the sixth vehicle of the brand's line-up, the Duster off-roader, was an immediate hit and sales to date have reached almost 127,000 vehicles worldwide. The model has also become the star of the brand's motorsport activities, taking part in competitions like France's Trophée Andros ice-racing series with Alain Prost (two runner-up titles), the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles (2nd and 3rd places in 2011) and, very soon, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Its passion for motorsport mirrors the bold and ambitious values promoted by the brand.
DACIA DUSTER 'NO LIMIT': A ONE-OFF VEHICLE
Dacia Duster 'No Limit' is an exceptional, extremely powerful car. It was purpose built by teams from Tork Engineering (design, production, assembly, development) and Sodemo (engine), in association with Renault Sport Technologies, which brought its unique motorsport expertise to the table, as well as the supply of certain components.
Dacia Duster 'No Limit' complies with the specific regulations of the American competition's 'Unlimited' class which sets no upper limit on the size or power output of the engine. There is no minimum weight, any tyres may be used and there are no restrictions concerning either the transmission system or aerodynamics.
Beneath its glass-fibre outer skin, Dacia Duster 'No Limit' conceals a number of sophisticated features, including:
- A powerful 850hp engine:
Specially built by Sodemo and based on the Nissan GT-R's NISSAN VR 38 DETT block (3.8-litre V6), the powerplant of Dacia Duster 'No Limit' has been tuned to deliver maximum performance despite the high altitudes visited by the course which starts at 2,860 metres and finishes at 4,300 metres.
- A specific gearbox:
The engine is mated to a sequential six-speed Sadev box specially developed to cope with so much power, while at the same time ensuring quick, precise gearshifts.
- Advanced aerodynamics:
The sort of aerodynamic package featured on Dacia Duster 'No Limit' is of a sort that is rarely authorised in motorsport. It was developed in the wind tunnel and the rear wings are especially impressive.
JEAN-PHILIPPE DAYRAUT: A DRIVER WITH A DREAM
Jean-Philippe Dayraut has long dreamed of contesting the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in such an exceptional car. It was he who managed to convince Dacia and Renault Sport Technologies to join him in this extraordinary adventure.
The Colorado-based event calls for impeccable traction, despite the fact that grip varies as the half-asphalt/half-dirt course surfaces switches from one type of surface to the other. Only professional drivers with experience of circuit racing and competing on loose surfaces (gravel, ice) can hope to figure at the top of the order. With no fewer than six French titles in single-seater and touring car racing and three Trophée Andros crowns – including the last one – to his name, Jean-Philippe Dayraut is ideally qualified for the mission.
"The Pikes Peak Hill Climb is the only event where you get to keep a monster like this in check while drifting at speeds of 200kph on a course which features a mix of asphalt and dirt," notes Jean-Philippe Dayraut. "I can't think of any other form of motorsport where such cars are authorised."
PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB:
Location: Colorado (USA)
Course length: 20km
Start altitude: 2,860 metres
Finish altitude: 4,300 metres
Surface type: half-asphalt/half-dirt
Course record ('Unlimited' class): 10m 1.42s
Record established by Japan's Tajima Nobuhiro (Suzuki) in 2007