During two weeks, the new Renault Dusters showed their potential on the 2015 Dakar Rally. In the third participation of the official Renault Duster Team on the legendary rally-raid, the crew of Emiliano Spataro and Benjamin Lozada finished just outside the top 20 thanks to some strong results, including two third place finishes on the final two days.
Entered by Renault Argentina with the support of Renault Sport Technologies, the Renault Dusters stood out throughout the legendary event. After integrating the top five on the opening stage, the Renault Duster Team continued to learn and garner experience on the tracks of the Dakar Rally.
Thanks to its off-road qualities, the Renault Duster proved to be very comfortable in the dunes and fesh-fesh, allowing Emiliano Spataro and Benjamin Lozada to battle with the ten best in the world. Despite a mechanical breakdown in a trench during the marathon stage, the duo worked flat-out to reach the finish line without the support of the Renault Duster Team’s assistance squad. Meanwhile, José García and Mauricio Malano retired due to back pain suffered by the co-driver.
Consequently, Emiliano Spataro and Benjamin Lozada aspired to put in some eye opening results. And it was mission accomplished. 11th on stage 9, the Renault Duster then finished in the top ten each day with two historic third places on the final two stages on the return to Buenos Aires.
In the general classification, the Renault Duster Team crew finished 21st. A promising result for the Renault Duster, which competed in its first event with its new V8 engine from the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
”This Dakar, the first major rally for this Renault Duster, represents a genuine satisfaction for the entire team”, says Christophe Chapelain Technical Competition Manager of Renault Sport Technologies. “Despite intense heat and teething problems, the Renault Duster made it to the finish line without ever ceasing to achieve excellent results. The performance level and reliability is very satisfying for a first run. Emiliano Spataro battled for a long time to enter the top ten, and his brilliant runs at the start and the end of the Dakar leave us with great hopes for future editions. Thanks to the experience and data collected over two weeks, it is now up to us to rectify the minor problems and to work to offer a brilliant future to the Renault Duster!”
General Classification Final – Dakar 2015
1. Al-Attiyah – Baumel (Mini) 40:18:30
2. De Villiers – Von Zitzewitz (Toyota) +35’34’’
3. Holowicz – Panseri (Mini) +1h32’01’’
4. Van Loon – Rosegaar (Mini) +3h01’52’’
5. Vasilyev – Zhiltsov (Mini) +3h12’41’’ …
21. Spataro – Lozada (Renault) +8h42’26’’ …