New Dacia Duster competition car to contest 2009/2010 Trophée Andros in hands of Alain Prost

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NEW DACIA DUSTER COMPETITION CAR TO CONTEST 2009/2010 TROPHÉE ANDROS IN HANDS OF ALAIN PROST

  • Dacia to contest France’s celebrated Trophée Andros ice-racing series with new competition version of Duster 4×4, brand’s sixth model
  • All-new competition version previews new robust and reliable 4×4 for customers seeking an affordable, everyday all-terrain car
  • Formula One legend, Alain Prost, to drive new model during 2009/10 season
  • Dacia brand acclaimed for unbeatable equipment and performance package, remains true to its reputation by appearing in a discipline where its presence was least expected: ice racing
  • Dacia chosen by Prost for values of: simplicity, efficiency and robustness
  • Renault Sport-developed competition version of Duster becomes most powerful Dacia ever, with Renault-Nissan Alliance 3.0 V6 350hp engine, four-wheel drive plus four-wheel steering system, limited slip differential and six-speed sequential gearbox

AN UNPRECEDENTED PARTICIPATION FOR DACIA IN THE TROPHEE ANDROS

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.”

DACIA DUSTER PREPARED BY RENAULT SPORT TECHNOLOGIES

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.


DACIA DUSTER COMPETITION CAR – TECHNICAL DATA

CHASSIS

Tubular steel chassis

Double wishbone suspension, front and rear

ENGINE

Renault-Nissan Alliance VQ 30

Position: mid-engined

Six cylinders (V6)

Number of valves: 24

Cubic capacity: 2,987cc

Bore x stroke: 93mm x 73.3mm

Maximum power: 350hp at 7,500rpm

Maximum torque: 360Nm at 5,500rpm

TRANSMISSION

Six-speed SADEV sequential gearbox

BRAKES

Front: 260mm-diameter ventilated steel discs

Rear: 265mm-diameter steel discs

WHEELS

5.5″ x 16″ (magnesium)

Tyres: Continental Racing Contact 3

DIMENSIONS / WEIGHT

Length: 4,001mm

Width: 1,900mm

Front/rear track: 1,690mm

Wheelbase: 2,500mm

Weight: 950kg

Fuel tank capacity: 25 litres

150 000 DACIA VEHICLES SOLD IN FRANCE SINCE 2005

In the space of just four years since its launch in France in 2005, the Dacia brand has emerged as one of the French market’s leading players. More than 150,000 Dacias have already been sold in the country since the saga began. Thanks to a market share of 2.3 per cent in 2009 (up to end-October 2009, VP and LCV market), Dacia today figures among France’s 10 best-selling brands. Thanks to its range of robust, spacious and affordable vehicles, Dacia has forged a reputation for challenging existing thinking in the world of the automobile, permitting a whole new way to go motoring by delivering all the essentials… at just the right price. The current Dacia line-up in France features the Logan saloon, the Sandero hatchback, the Logan MCV estate and two utility vehicles, Logan van and Logan pick-up.

ALAIN PROST BIOGRAPHY

Born: February 24, 1955, in Lorette (Loire, France)

Four Formula 1 world titles: 1985 (McLaren), 1986 (McLaren), 1989 (McLaren) and 1993 (Williams-Renault).

First F1 win in 1981 with the Renault RE 30 at Dijon (French Grand Prix).

Grands Prix starts: 199

51 wins / 41 fastest race laps / 33 pole positions / 798.5 World Championship points

1997-2001: Director of Prost Grand Prix (Formula 1)

Alain Prost’s ice racing record in brief:

– First race: Lans en Vercors (January 17-18, 2003)

– First win: L’Alpe d’Huez (December 13, 2003), with Toyota

– Race wins: 15 (including seven in 2006/2007)

– Best season: 2006/2007 (champion)

Overall championship position:

2003/2004 (Toyota): 2nd

2004/2005 (Toyota): 3rd

2005/2006 (Toyota): 2nd

2006/2007 (Toyota): 1st

2007/2008 (Toyota): 1st

2008/2009 (Toyota): 2nd


THE TROPHEE ANDROS

First organised in 1990, the Trophée Andros ice-racing series delivers a unique combination of speed and spectator value. The formula features a number of different classes, and the Dacia Duster will compete in the Silhouette category, the rules for which specify that the car’s exterior appearance must resemble that of a vehicle that is either available on the market or about to be launched. The regulations strictly control the majority of the cars’ major assemblies, including the tubular chassis, four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering systems, three-litre, 350hp V6 engine, six-speed gearbox and Continental Racing Contact 3 tyres.

The races

Each Trophée Andros meeting comprises two days of action. The first day is given over to timed practice (no points awarded) followed by two qualifying heats. The heats see groups of four cars cover four laps each, the winner being the car which posts the best aggregate time. The best of the two attempts counts towards a classification which not only decides the starting grid for the finals but also accounts for 80 per cent of the points awarded at each meeting. The finals take place on the second day, with each race featuring 10 cars competing over a distance of 10 laps. The finals account for 20 per cent of the total points awarded.

The calendar

December 5-6                Val Thorens

December 12-13            Andorre

December 18-19            Alpe d’Huez

January 8-9                   Isola 2000

January 15-16                Lans en Vercors

January 23-24                Saint Die des Vosges

January 29-30                Clermont/SuperBesse (final)

Press enquiries: Contact Mike Gale on 01923 697653 or Jeremy Townsend on 01923 697592 at the Renault UK Press Office. E-mail is firstname.surname@renault.co.uk. This Press release, photos and videos are available to download from www.press.renault.co.uk.