After winning the Dakar Rally in both the bike and car division and spending nine years as the series’ director, you can be called a legend. While most ‘petrol heads’ are sticking to their paths (yet), some are turning into another direction. Hubert Auriol knows a thing about challenges and adventures and has committed himself to something new: he became an ambassador for 80 Day Race, which is initiating a fully-sustainable race around the world.
“At the time of the early years of the Dakar Rally we didn’t know much about cross-country racing, as we were the first to do it. Everybody said it was crazy, because nobody knew what it was and it really became a huge event,” Auriol compares the successful competition with 80 Day Race. “I think that’s the same with this race; it’s a new adventure, it’s a new way of thinking, but it carries the same spirit. It’s completely the right moment to initiate something new: going around the world with no common way of using an engine. I directly was intrigued by its concept and knew I must support it.”
This new challenge is set to start in April 2016 in Western Europe, going east to the Middle East, India, China, crossing the ocean to North America, going south to the east coast of South America before going back to Europe for the final stage. Cities and participating teams are yet to be revealed, but ElectricAutosport.com understands that negotiations with top partners and cities are ongoing.
80 Day Race’s aim is to initiate a global marketing platform and a test bed for new technologies, as they believe that racing pushes EV technology forward. “The challenge of this race is to push engineering to find a solution to go around the world with something new,” Auriol acknowledges. “Today, if you take a car or plane it’s easy, but how can you do it with a different way of thinking? If it works around the world you can imagine that 10 years later it will be normal. For the car industry I think it’s a big challenge, because we have to prove that it’s possible.”
Who knows we’ll see Auriol participating in the race: “I don’t know yet what I’m going to do, but why not creating a team and trying to succeed?”
Hubert Auriol joins a list of ambassadors including EV specialist and Formula E presenter Robert Llewellyn and former Formula 1 and Le Mans winner Jan Lammers. Check www.80dr.com and follow them @80DR on twitter.