On January 15, the significant automobile event of 2023, the Dakar Rally, came to a spectacular finish in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This year's event was contested in Saudi Arabia, and the route crossed the whole territory from the west coast of Saudi Arabia to the east coast, covering a total distance of 8,549 kilometers, including nearly 5,000 kilometers of timed sections, which is the longest route since 2014 and worthy of being the toughest rally in the world.
As the only Chinese car manufacturer team, BAIC ORV team is competing in Dakar for the third year. Between the two BAIC teams, BAIC ORV Team 233# composed of Zhang Guoyu/Jean Pierre GARCIN won 10th place in the T1+ category, as well as first among Chinese manufacturer teams. The other Team 248#, Zi Yunliang/Sha He, won the Dakar 2023 Winner Rookie Award of the Year. Moreover, Team 233# won China's first FIA World Rally Raid Championship (W2RC) stage points and ranked 12th with 10 pints in the Dakar Rally. BAIC ORV Team ranked 4th among the FIA W2RC manufacturer teams.
Looking back at previous Dakar events, the average completion rate of 38% once again showed how challenging this devilish event is. In 2021 three groups of drivers claimed first and second place in the rookie group and achieved the best result in the debut of the Chinese auto brand in Dakar. But this year, the two teams from the BAIC ORV team not only completed the Dakar Rally successfully, but they also demonstrated to the rest of the world the superior technical capabilities of Chinese automakers.
In the 2023 Dakar Rally, BAIC ORV team built BAIC ORV T1+ racing car for the first time completely based on the FIA's strict off-road T1+ rules, which makes BAIC the first Chinese self-owned brand that's capable of building T1+ professional racing car with the FIA racing passport.
The BAIC ORV T1+ racing car is based on the transformation of the well-known BJ40. Three consecutive years of tempering technology have contributed to the continuous growth of BJ40. The BAIC off-road brand will keep honing its core product power and race technology after each event in order to eventually incorporate race technology into the passenger car products.
From the day the BJ40 was born, BAIC off-road brand has taken into full consideration the wear and tear and durability of the vehicle in the face of extreme environments. The BJ40 has consistently been tested in conditions of high temperature over 50°C, high humidity over 95%, extreme coldness under -41°C, high salt corrosion over 5%, and high altitude above 5380 meters. This test standard is known as the "five highs and one drought" standard. The BAIC off-road brand additionally considers the harsh conditions of the four desert areas with drought.
The BJ40 is also particularly well-liked by off-road enthusiasts due to its body structure and additional high-strength anti-rolling bar. The BAIC off-road brand is aware that "just having fun" isn't as vital as "having fun for a long time." The BJ40 must therefore be an off-road vehicle that is both secure and enjoyable enough to accompany us through many challenges.
The Dakar Rally is over, but the spirit of moving on in the face of hardships and risk lives on in our daily lives. We may not all be at the top of our game, but as long as we learn from our mistakes, develop, and continue on our path, we will all be our own heroes. Seeing our own shadows and having hope for the future is probably the true purpose of the Dakar Rally.
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