Dakar

Century Racing brings 10 cars to Dakar 2023, including 2 new CR6-Ts

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Credit: Century Racing

The Century Racing CR6 is a popular car of choice for Dakar Rally entrants, and the South African outfit will provide ten of them for the 2023 edition much like in 2022. However, two in particular will be the team’s newest model: the CR6-T.

“We’re sending the heavy artillery in again,” said Century Racing head Julien Hardy. “We have a ten-car lineup this year with some big names and a faster new turbo car for the factory team. Now let’s see how the toughest race in the world will unfold.”

The most notable characteristic that makes the CR6-T stand out from the CR6 comes in the engine bay, where sits a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 DECA commonly found in the Audi RS4 and Porsche Cayenne. Such a motor is capable of 434 horsepower and is connected to the ECU, which gives power to the rear wheels via the Sadev SL924 sequential gearbox.

On the other hand, the CR6 has a 7-litre LS7 engine pulled from a Chevrolet Corvette that produces 370 horsepower. Otherwise, it features the same specs as the turbo counterpart like wheel size (37 inches) and travel (440 mm), a Motec ECU, a suspension built by R53, and auto tyre inflation.

The CR6-T was first built in June 2021 for competition in the South African Rally-Raid Championship. SARRC star Brian Baragwanath will drive one CR6-T, numbered #216, at Dakar with Leonard Cremer as co-driver, while Mathieu Serradori and Loïc Minaudier are in the #209. Both of their entries will come under the Century Racing Factory Team banner.

Serradori finished seventh overall in the 2022 Rally as the highest Century, seven spots ahead of Baragwanath. Century also provided ten CR6s for that year’s race.

The eight CR6s also heading to Dakar are customer teams. Half are represented by Astara Team, who will field a variation known as the Astara Concept 01 for Óscar Fuertes Aldanondo, Carlos Checa Carrera, and Laia Sanz. Sergio Vallejo, whose brother Diego is Fuertes’ navigator, will be in an Astara-aligned CR6.

Twins Tim and Tom Coronel will share a CR6 for the sixth time. Their Coronel Racing team will also provide a CR6 for Yannick and Valérie Panagiotis, who earned a spot at the Rally via the Road to Dakar programme at the SARRC’s TGRSA 1000 Desert Race in June. Antoine Galland and Yannick Demay are making their Dakar débuts in a CR6 for Off Road Concept.

The 2023 Dakar Rally begins on 31 December 2022.

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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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