Guerlain Chicherit to enter Dakar with Bioethanol and Hydrogen cars in 2022/23

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Chicherit at the wheel
photo credit: Roots Management International media office

Guerlain Chicherit is set to extend his pursuit of a world brimming with sustainable off-road motorsport via a multi-year program in the Dakar Rally, beginning with a Bioethanol fuelled entry in 2022, followed by a Hydrogen-Hybrid powered machine in 2023. Both entries will be under the GCK Motorsport programme, which Chicherit founded himself and has raced in multiple disciplines with.

The decision by Chicherit follows the FIA’s sanctioning of the use of Bioethanol in the Dakar Rally in 2022, and the Frenchman was quick to commit to being part of Dakar history with his GCK Thunder machine. The GCK Thunder is a 340hp bioethanol-powered, rear-wheel drive, buggy-style racer that former FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup Champion Chicherit will make his 11th Dakar start in next year and his first for six years. 

A passionate advocate for environmental change and extreme motorsport, Chicherit and GCK has committed to not compete with fossil fuels and the Dakar is a perfect way to showcase this commitment. The 2022 event is just a precursor to even more groundbreaking change on the Dakar scene. In 2023 GCK and Chicherit will enter the Dakar Rally in the e-Blast H2. The car will feature a bespoke Hydrogen fuel cell developed by GCK in conjunction with global engineering giant FEV.

GCK’s commitment to Sustainable off-road racing doesn’t stop with just the machinery it chooses to enter. GCK is also working with Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the organisers behind the Dakar Rally, to determine ways in which the event can become greener in the future. Well into its fifth decade, the Dakar Rally is one of the most beloved events to off-road competitors and fans, and securing a sustainable future for the event is vital.

Chicherit will be partnered by co-driver Alex Winocq, who joined him for the event in 2015 and 2016. After a six-year absence, Chicherit is excited to break new ground on his return to the event:

“I’ve made no secret of my passion for Dakar and my desire to return to racing it. Dakar has underpinned a huge number of decisions of GCK Motorsport over the last few years and everyone who knows me, knows how hard it has been to be patient and wait to come back when the time is right.  

“The development programme we’ve launched as GCK Motorsport – along with the work we’re doing alongside the ASO in support of reducing the event’s environmental impact makes me super excited to return. I believe Dakar is the biggest challenge an athlete and a team can possibly face together, and to do so successfully is a long-distance race in itself.

“I’m ready and can’t wait to take on this next challenge.”

Both the bioethanol GCK Thunder for the 2022 event and e-Blast H2 for 2023 have been undergoing testing, and GCK Motorsport has plenty more testing planned before putting Checherit, Alex and the GCK Thunder in at the deep end via competitive action before the end of the year. The Dakar itself shall continue its running in the middle-east for 2022 and will cross unforgiving terrain in Saudi Arabia, host of the inaugural Extreme-E event (3-4 April 2021).

Extreme E, and GCK’s involvement in the next two years of the Dakar Rally signal a shift in off-road motorsport towards a more sustainable future and fans of Chicherit will be keen to see how him and his machinery get on.

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