Latvian-built range-extended electric rally car OSCar eO has won the Green Challenge Grand Prix at the Silk Way Rally in Russia. Andris Dambis and Maris Saukans took a respectable 21st position overall at the event run over 6 days from Moscow to Gelendzik.
Company Drive eO created the revolutionary electric drive off-roader in 2011. On its debut, OSCar eO completed the whole 8400 km distance of the Dakar 2012 rally, indicating the future potential of such technologies. In preparation for the Silk Way Rally, the vehicle was upgraded to improve its outright competitiveness. The prospect of racing against the 88-car strong entry list was a serious sporting challenge to look forward to.
The ever improving stage times pleased the vehicle’s chief engineer Andris Dambis who was also behind the wheel. OSCar eO delivered a consistent and credible pace through the steppes and sand dunes that dominated the rally scenery, peaking at an impressive 14th fastest time on day five. Dambis admitted that he was rarely limited by the electric drive nature of the car and the pace was instead set by what felt like safe enough driving to retain consistency.
The rally organisers and participants were sad to learn about the horrific natural disaster in the Black Sea region where the rally was due to finish. Cancellation of the last competitive day was therefore received with unanimous understanding and respect was paid to all the victims and their families.
The podium ceremony was consequently held at the Maykop bivouac, 3520 kilometres away from the ceremonial start in Moscow’s Red Square. Team Latvia was proud to receive the Grand Prix for winning the Green Challenge category, open to alternatively fuelled vehicles. The 21st position in the overall rankings means that the electric drive OSCar eO outpaced the majority of the 60 finishing vehicles.
“Another great day for our team and the whole electric mobility,” Dambis commented after the finish. “I am proud that we delivered every single objective once again. Many thanks to the rally organisers for hosting a great race and working with us on the future of electrified motorsport.”