Racing season is now in full swing and as the days go by, we’re seeing more and more racing series begin their respective seasons.
One that’s scheduled to start in a month’s time is the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship (STCC) and Romanian automaker, Dacia, is preparing for the series with a new racecar in the form of a second-generation Logan that has been christened as the Logan STCC 1024.
After plying its craft in Pikes Peak with its custom Duster rally cars, Dacia wants to make headway at the STCC and it picked a pretty good car to do it, thanks to the Logan’s 400-horsepower V-6 engine that’s mated to a six-speed sequential transmission. Add that to a model that only weighs slightly north of 1,100 kg (2,425 pounds) and you have a racecar that’s ridiculously quick and can bust out of the gates with the nimbleness and power of a pouncing panther.
Hyperbole notwithstanding, the Logan STCC 1024 looks ready for competition and it will get its chance to show everyone what it’s got when the STCC season kicks off on May 3rd.
When Renault said that it was going to take a stab at running Pikes Peak in 2011 AND use a Dacia Duster to run the competition, a lot of people, shall we say, scoffed at that idea.
As it turns out, Renault was actually serious about the whole thing because the first photos of the Dacia Duster Pikes Peak have gone live. It seems a little ambitious for Renault to try to compete in one of the most famous - or infamous - hill climbing competitions in the world, especially considering when they’re using their low-cost, Romanian-based brand for the whole competition.
But this isn’t your ordinary Dacia Duster. While details are still limited, there are whispers going around that this particular Duster will carry a Nissan GT-R-sourced V8 engine that produces a staggering 850 horsepower. Last we checked, that’s a load of power, especially for a car that’s been stripped down to weigh just a little less than 900 kg (1,984 lbs).
The car is set to compete on June 26, 2011 at Pikes Peak, Colorado and will be piloted by Jean-Philippe Dayraut. We don’t know how competitive it’s going to be against the Imprezas of the competition, but there’s plenty of power under this Duster’s hood. And if you’ve got that covered, you stand a very good chance of being competitive.
Alain Prost, widely regarded as one of the fiercest Formula One drivers in history and the most heated rival of the late, great Ayrton Senna, is still hacking up race tracks in France these days, albeit on a much different terrain. The former Formula One Driver’s Champion’s competitive racing juices are now on full display at the Andros Trophy racing series, the national Ice Racing championship of France.
Last year, Prost raced behind the wheel of a Dacia Duster Ice Racer and proceeded to show everybody that despite his age, he still managed to finish runner-up for the season, trailing only two-time Andros champion Jean-Philippe Dayraut on-board his Fabia Skoda MKII.
This season, which is scheduled to begin on December 4th, Prost is looking to break through with his first Andros championship, and to help him achieve his goal, he’s got a brand new Dacia Duster Ice Racer waiting to be unleashed all over the icy terrains of France.
The new Duster Ice Racer underwent some engine and performance upgrades from last year’s model, giving Prost an even bigger chance to break the Skoda’s two-year stranglehold on the championship.
For one thing, the 55-year old racer is determined to prove that second place won’t be good enough this time around. “Last season, we were aware it would be tough to win the Trophée Andros with a new car, not to mention the fact that the program began at a relatively late stage” he said.
“This time round, my intention is to challenge for the title. We completed two very positive days of testing at Val Thorens last weekend. Our work on Duster has clearly paid dividends and we are convinced we have the means to make a strong start."
Head over past the jump to find out details about Prost’s new Duster Ice Racer.
Alain Prost’s foray into the Trophée Andros racing series on-board the Dacia Duster V6 Racer won’t come until early December, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t have a sneak preview of the former F1 champion taking his new toy out for a test run.
Thankfully, the miracle that is YouTube allows us the opportunity to watch videos that we normally wouldn’t have access to. And by videos – or in this case, a video – we mean Prost taking the Duster 4x4 for some test laps.
While some race cars require extensive stretches of salt to get the job done, there are petrol heads that are eager to run flat out on just about any surface, even ice. While the Romanian automaker Dacia revealed the Duster concept at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, the production version of their first ever SUV won’t be unveiled until 2010. However Dacia won’t keep us in the dark for too long because they have just entered the Trophee Andros ice racing series with a Renault Sport Technologies produced competition version of the upcoming Duster and will have none other than Formula One legend and ice racing enthusiast Alain Prost.
Although this is nowhere near the genuine article; it will be a stripped down, tube frame, purpose built, ice racer that is capable of changing direction on a dime on the most slippery surface on the face of the Earth and come with a power to weight ratio that you are unlikely to find in any of Dacia’s road cars. But isn’t that the fun part about race cars? You start off with something that resembles a car you might see on the street and then completely reengineer it to achieve the lowest lap time possible by doing things like putting a 350 HP Renault Sport V6 behind the driver mated to a six speed sequential gearbox and a set of studded tires at all four corners. Just try and imagine how much fun it would be to take that thing out on a snow covered public road.
Press release after the jump.