After finishing 32nd at the Dakar Rally 2022, Spanish mobility company Astara is back at it with the updated version of their race car and a new set of drivers.
Oscar Fuertes Aldanondo returns to join Laia Sanz-Maurizio Gerini and Carlos Checa-Marc Solà to pilot the Astara 01 Concept. Diego Vallejo, who was part of the driver tandem last year with Aldanondo will not return this year.
"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 colors. Besides, I have my co-driver Diego Vallejo on my right and that gives me extra confidence,” said Aldanondo.
Last year, the Astara 01 Concept used 70% e-fuel. For this year, it has been improved further to use 90% e-fuel. It also came in as the lightest car in its category in 2022, but with improvements to its chassis, it should set the bar higher this year in terms of weight reduction.
Astara’s goal is to show that it is possible to offer the most efficient, intelligent, and sustainable mobility solution possible. By joining the Dakar Rally 2023 again, the company wants to show a sustainable way of winning (using the least amount of resources and generating the smallest carbon footprint in the history of the race).
"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,” said Gerini.
Team Astara will have eight support vehicles and a team of more than 30 people. At the end of the Rally, the team will measure, report, and compensate for its carbon footprint following standardized measurement protocols in 2023. 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).
“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,” said Solà.
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.