INGOLSTADT: Audi announced that it has hired two of the Dakar Rally's most successful drivers Stephane Peterhansel and Carlos Sainz for when it makes its debut on the race with a hybrid car.
"It is no exaggeration to speak of a 'dream team'," said Julius Seebach, managing director of Audi Sport, in a statement on Monday.
Audi will enter three hybrid cars on which the power will be provided by electric powertrains although the battery will be augmented by a combustion engine.
Swede Mattias Ekstrom will complete the trio.
The 55-year-old Frenchman Peterhansel has won the race 14 times on bikes or in cars, including this year, while 59-year-old Spaniard Sainz has won three times, most recently in 2020, and also won two World Rally titles.
"Stephane is the most successful Dakar driver of all time in the history of the Dakar. Carlos is a multiple Dakar winner and World Rally champion," said Seebach.
Both Peterhansel and Sainz drove for MINI last season.
"We want to be the first team to win the Dakar Rally with an electric powertrain," said Peterhansel.
The 2022 edition of the Dakar will take place in Saudi Arabia from Jan 2 to 14.