Dacia Duster to contest France’s celebrated Trophée Andros ice-racing


Dacia has chosen to base its challenge in the 2009/1010 Trophée Andros ice-racing season on the so-called ‘Silhouette’ category. All the circuits visited by the Trophée Andros put reliability to the ultimate test, and this will give Dacia a chance to showcase the fact that robustness forms an integral part of the brand’s DNA. The discipline also places a cap on excessively complex and costly technical solutions, while the chassis, gearbox and tyres, for example, are all carefully governed by the regulations, forcing teams to explore simple, ingenious solutions, an approach which totally fits the Dacia spirit.

Dacia’s newcomer will get its first taste of ice racing in the hands of Alain Prost, with the brand seeking to spring a surprise by using the campaign to premiere Dacia Duster, the lines of which preview the 4×4 model that is due to go on sale in 2010. Dacia Duster’s high body line and prominent wheel arches are clear pointers to its 4×4 credentials, while the bodywork of the competition version is perfectly suited to the specific demands of the Trophée Andros. The extensive front glazed surface area and the positioning of the windscreen pillars ensure outstanding forward and lateral visibility.

The Dacia brand has forged a reputation for challenging established thinking in the automotive world, delivering all the essentials… at just the right price.

The Trophée Andros stands out as one of motor sport’s most exacting disciplines. In ice racing, the track conditions can change very quickly as a result of prevailing weather conditions, and driving calls for precision, rigour and race-craft, three qualities which all come naturally to a champion of Alain Prost’s calibre. Speaking about his latest challenge, Alain Prost said, “I am delighted to be driving the Dacia Duster. It is a brand new vehicle, and I am proud to be able to play a part in its promotion to the unusual backdrop of the Trophée Andros. Thanks to the work put in by Renault Sport Technologies, I have every confidence in Dacia Duster’s potential and reliability, which together point to an extremely exciting season.”

Over and above driver talent, the cars that contest the Trophée Andros undergo specific preparation.

The competition version of Dacia Duster has benefited extensively from the motorsport expertise of Renault Sport Technologies. Its glass-fibre body conceals a tubular chassis which houses a three-litre, 24-valve V6 engine from the Renault-Nissan Alliance range. This powerplant has been carefully tuned in order to optimise its performance potential at the high altitudes at which the races will be held. It delivers peak power of 350hp at 7,500rpm and maximum torque of 360Nm at 5,500rpm. The six-speed sequential gearbox ensures fast, precise gearshifts, even when drifting through corners at full speed. The mid-engined layout offers perfect weight distribution, whilst the low centre of gravity ensures enhanced control.
The double wishbone suspension and long-travel dampers have been specifically engineered to allow Dacia Duster to take in its stride the different conditions it will encounter during the Trophée Andros campaign. The competition version of Dacia Duster is equipped with limited slip differentials which are indispensable for the extreme conditions. This feature, which is also seen on other Renault Sport Technologies-developed competition and road cars, ensures efficient traction irrespective of the road surface, driving style or type of corner. The competition version of Dacia Duster also incorporates a four-wheel steering system for complete cornering control. This mechanical system links the front and rear wheels, and can be rapidly adjusted to meet the demands of each circuit.

Source: Dacia/Renault (press release/media site)