A minivan is not what you'd expect to see winning a racing series. Nor would a budget brand like Dacia. That's where Alain Prost comes into the picture.

The four-time Formula One World Champion isn't quite retired: he's still competing in the Andros Trophy, a French ice-racing series. After hoisting the trophy twice in a row with a snow-spec Toyota Auris rally machine, Prost switched over to Dacia, for which he has now claimed his third personal title and the first for Renault's Romanian budget brand.

The title fight came down to the last race in Auvergne, France, where the natural snow and best efforts of race organizers could not separate Prost (or his son Nicolas) from the bare tarmac. The vehicle with which he did it was a new racer (loosely) based on the new Lodgy, an MPV that doesn't make its production debut until theupcoming Geneva Motor Show.

Check out the high-res photos in the gallery for a closer look and follow the jump for the full press release.
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Trophée Andros title success for Dacia Lodgy Glace and Alain Prost!
January 30, 2012 | ID: 31334

The thrilling last clash of the 2011/2012 Trophée Andros saw Dacia clinch its first title in motorsport thanks to Alain Prost, who was in stunning form, and team-mates Evens Stievenart and Nicolas Prost. By taking his personal score in the French competition to three crowns, Alain Prost enabled Dacia Lodgy Glace to become the first MPV to win a title in ice racing, just weeks ahead of the production version's unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show.

With three drivers in contention for the 2011/2012 title, there was plenty of suspense ahead of the Trophée Andros's visit to France's Auvergne region for the final encounter of what has been a thrilling season. For Team Dacia, the tactics if Alain Prost was to clinch the crown were very simple: he had to win!

The organisers did everything in their power to produce icy racing conditions, but bare asphalt prevailed despite the ambient snow.

After a polished performance during free practice, Alain Prost, Evens Stievenart and Nicolas Prost went into the first qualifying session intent on claiming a psychological advantage over their rivals. Nicolas was first to go out and four perfect laps sent him straight to the top of the order. Evens followed soon afterwards and took over the provisional lead after his four consistent laps.

That sent out a clear message that the Dacia Lodgy Glace was competitive and none of the drivers who followed – with the exception of Jean-Philippe Dayraut, who was second-last to go out – succeeded in bettering the runs of Evens and Nicolas.

Alain Prost, who was equal first in the provisional championship standings before the trip to Super Besse, went out in the last group. He pulled out all the stops to post the quickest lap, almost eight-tenths of a second quicker than Dayraut. Evens ended up in third spot, with Nicolas following in fourth position. "It was a faultless team effort," acknowledged Alain Prost. "It was vital that Benjamin Rivière didn't win here, otherwise we were beaten. But Evens and Nico did a superb job by relegating him to fifth overall. When my team-mates do well, it's always a sign that the Dacia is competitive, and that meant I could focus on my driving."

The second qualifying session called for an identical result, so Alain Prost, Evens Stievenart and Nicolas Prost knew that another impeccable performance would be needed if they were to secure the championship. Once again, Nicolas and Evens accomplished their mission to the latter. Even so, there was significant pressure on Alain's shoulders as he prepared to go out after Jean-Philippe Dayraut had established the benchmark time. "When I was told Jean-Philippe's time, I knew that my only option was to give it everything I had!" The former F1 driver stepped up to the mark to produce four emphatic laps, however, including the fastest time of the session, more than a second faster than the next best effort. It put the N°2 Dacia Lodgy Glace at the top of the qualifying timesheet, with Evens Stievenart and Nicolas Prost following in third and fifth places respectively.

The finales eventually brought the exciting 2011/2012 championship to a close, but the show was slightly spoiled by some of the on-track antics. Alain Prost's Dacia was punted by a rival car and that could have seen all the team's efforts go to waste had it not been for the swift work of the mechanics who succeeded in repairing in a matter of minutes. Alain Prost went on to secure his third Trophée Andros title by claiming his finale and picking up his third win – and Dacia's fourth – of this winter's championship.

It took Dacia just three Trophée Andros campaigns to claim the supreme prize, an ideal result to kick start the career of the new Dacia Lodgy which is due to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Alain Prost: "I had no choice but to win today. I had a good feeling with my car and the team's hard work enabled us to perform strongly in qualifying. We couldn't afford to put a foot wrong this weekend but we coped with everything very well. The way the finales unfolded nearly ruined everything, but that merely mirrored the behaviour that some of our rivals have shown this season. Winning for Dacia was important and we pulled it off with an MPV, which was no easy challenge. I would like to thank everyone in the team, especially Evens and Nicolas. Had we not had a second car, we wouldn't have won this winter's Trophée Andros which proved extremely close right up the end."

Evens Stievenart:"It's been an emotional day. Once again, we all focused on the same objective and today, more than at any other time, it was important to provide Alain with perfect feedback. His title was made possible by the work of everybody in the team. Personally, I learnt a great deal this winter thanks to Alain and the rest of the squad. I'm even a little sad that it has come to a close because I felt more and more competitive. I end the series with some podium finishes under my belt, one race win and fifth place in the final standings. That's all extremely positive and I will try to put this year's experience to profit next winter."

Nicolas Prost: "This winter has been a real learning curve for me, but it's all been very positive. I played my part in my father's title and I also came away with the 'Trophée des Indépendants', for the best rookie. I've learnt so much, and working with the team was an intense, successful and rewarding experience. We gave it everything we had in the finale to take the title. It's a prize for the three of us and I hope I will get a chance to challenge for the crown myself sometime soon..."

Super Besse – final positions:1, Alain Prost (Dacia Lodgy Glace). 2, Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Mini Countryman). 3, Evens Stievenart (Dacia Lodgy Glace). 4, Benjamin Rivière (Skoda Fabia). 5, Nicolas Bernardi (Ford Fiesta RS). 6, Nicolas Prost (Dacia Lodgy Glace). 7, Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (Renault Clio). 8, Jacques Villeneuve (Skoda Fabia). 9, Andréa Dubourg. 10. Olivier Pernaut. Etc.

2011/2012 Trophée Andros – final classification: 1, Alain Prost (Dacia Lodgy Glace), 823 points. 2, Benjamin Rivière (Skoda Fabia), 818. 3, Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Mini Countryman), 817. 4, Olivier Panis (Skoda Fabia), 784. 5, Evens Stievenart (Dacia Lodgy Glace), 764. 6, Franck Lagorce (Skoda Fabia), 763. 7, Jean-Baptiste Dubourg (Renault Clio), 760. 8, Pierre Llorach (Renault Clio III), 746. 9, Bertrand Balas (Mini Countryman), 743. 10, Nicolas Prost (Dacia Lodgy Glace), 725. Etc.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 29 Comments
      Cornel001
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Renault's Hungarian budget brand." This is from "Budapest, capital of Romania" series. Maybe Romanian press should write next time "B-Max, the latest product of Canadian company Ford..." What ? USA? USA, Canada, well, the same, they're somewhere in the same place, who cares /sarcasm
      dtrump_21
      • 2 Years Ago
      He's an old racing driver who is still winning races and even championships. That's cool. That's ice cool
      Gamblour
      • 2 Years Ago
      Prost is a FOUR-TIME F1 champion ('85, '86, '89, '93).
      Racsman
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dammit , Dacia's Romanian ....
      sparrk
      • 2 Years Ago
      Great News !
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        breAshley
        • 2 Years Ago
        First of all no. and second, no. That wouldn't make any sense given the story, even supposing we didn't know he was alive. Are you thinking of Senna? - he passed away in 1994.
        stuck in 90s
        • 2 Years Ago
        wow??!! what you are you doing here Nick?? did you just stumbled on Autoblog by accident thinking this is O'ChopinBlock for cooking advices?
        AUTOLEGEND86
        • 2 Years Ago
        As dumb comments go, this takes the cake.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Iosif Bogdan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Dacia is a brand from Romania, owned by Renault, which is French. We are neighbors with Hungary though and the author is most likely American so we need to just give him a passing grade due to "No Child Left Behind". But I digress... I'm Romanian and I don't like what Renault does with Dacia in these races. Just like the Dacia used in Pikes Peak, this one has nothing but its shape in common with the commercial version. So then why use the Dacia badge on cars that can be wholly attributed to the Renault Sport division? Don't get me wrong, it is honorable to see this Romanian brand, that struggled so much throughout its history and means a lot to Romanians, being placed in these flattering situations. However, it is kind of inappropriate and I wish Renault would just stop this madness and start using its own brand on these monster race cars.
        sparrk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Iosif Bogdan
        Relax , bro. It's all about marketing and brand awareness. Renault uses their parts in these cars, or Nissan parts , Renault owns a big chunk of Nissan.
        LOLO
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Iosif Bogdan
        because they can. and they did get over it. All racing cars are this way GET OVER RACING. you cant? then watch racing and STFU. GAME OVER YEAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! SEGA
      Traveler
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mr Noah Joseph, you disappoint. Everyone knows that Renault is Belgian, Nissan is Korean and Dacia is Bulgarian.
      SpikedLemon
      • 2 Years Ago
      That car's as much Dacia as Ford is Nissan.
      Mark Stevenson
      • 2 Years Ago
      No mention of the controversy at the last race that decided the championship. Ah well, it is AutoBlog. No need for all the details. Just summarize the press release and move on to the next day. This is no longer a sport anymore. The officials made sure of that. Prost won due to some shitty officiating.
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mark Stevenson
        Wow. That seriously sounds like the old days of Monster Jam when they were on TNN before it was called Spike where Dusty Rhodes was one of the commentators. Why would you have predetermined racing? It's just incredibly retarded.
        Ronman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mark Stevenson
        Hi Mark, mighty interested, can you share a link where the full blow story is listed?
          Mark Stevenson
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ronman
          More here as well: http://www.auto123.com/en/racing-news/andros-trophy-skoda-unhappy-following-super-besse-race-video?artid=140088
          Ronman
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ronman
          Thanks
      James McBoeuf
      • 2 Years Ago
      Did anyone see the race? He is and always was a cheating bastard!!!!
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