Dacia chose to participate in the “Silhouette” category for the ice-racing season of the 2009/1010 Trophée Andros. Participating in the race gave Dacia a chance to show the robustness that forms an important part of the brand. In particular the reliability of the Dacia will be put to the test given the circuits of the Trophée Andros. The race sets regulations on the chassis, tires and gearbox, while it puts a cap on having excessively costly and complex technical solutions.
Participating teams then must use simple yet ingenious solutions which are a perfect fit with the Dacia spirit. The brand will use the race to introduce the Dacia Duster which experienced its first ice racing with driver Alain Prost. This 4x4 model was released in stores in 2010. The 4x4 credential of the Dacia Duster is evident in the prominent wheel arches and high body line and the coachwork of the model customized for the race is able to meet the demands of Trophée Andros.
Furthermore, the positioning of the windscreen pillars and the surface area with an extensive front glaze guarantee both lateral visibility and outstanding foreword. The Trophée Andros remains to be one of motor sports’ very exacting disciplines. As with ice racing, the conditions of the track can change quickly depending on the condition of the weather which means that a driver would need to have a good race craft, as well as rigor and precision.
All these three qualities come innately to a champion with the caliber of Alain Prost. However in addition to the talent of the driver, cars that race on the Trophée Andros must undertake very specific preparations. The version of the Dacia Duster that will be used for this competition uses expertise from Renault Sport Technologies in the field of motor sports. A glass-fibre body covers the tubular chassis that in turn houses a Renault-Nissan Alliance V6, 3-liter and 24-valve engine.
The powerplant has been tweaked to optimize the car’s performance especially at high altitudes where the race will be conducted. The engine can give a maximum power of 350 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and top torque at 5,500 rpm of 360 Nm. The 6-speed sequential gearbox allows for precise and faster gearshift that is possible even when the car is drifting through corners. Since the engine is located in the mid-rear, the Dacia duster is able to distribute its weight perfectly and is able to comply with the minimum weight requirement of 950 kg.
This also ensures that the center of gravity is kept low while it is able to minimize polar inertia to enhance control. The double wishbone suspension of the Dacia and its long-travel dampers permit the car to take on the various terrains that it can possibly meet on the Trophée Andros race.
This race version also comes equipped with slip differentials that are highly important in extreme conditions. This feature can also be seen on other road cars developed by Renault Sport Technologies. The differentials give the car efficient traction performance regardless of the grip available, the corner type, or even driving style. Finally, it incorporates the 4-wheel steering system that completes the cornering line control. This particular system links the front and back wheels and can be adjusted in order to meet the features of each circuit.