Bahrain Raid Xtreme (BRX) has redesigned the Prodrive Hunter to meet the new T1+ regulations of the Dakar Rally recently announced by the FIA, which is now the top class alongside T1-E. The FIA introduced the new rules to help balance the performance of the four and two-wheel-drive cars in the T1 category.
The Hunter T1+ will run on larger tyres, with increased suspension travel and a wider track. 37in tyres on 17in rims, replace the current 32in tyres on 16in rims, with suspension travel increased from 280mm to 350mm, and the body width increased from 2m to 2.3m to accommodate. These changes have necessitated some significant adjustments to the drivetrain, suspension and bodywork.
Prodrive has reconfigured the suspension geometry with longer wishbones and dampers, larger brakes accommodating the 17in wheels. The larger tyre radius increases the load in the drivetrain, so driveshafts, prop shafts, and differentials have been modified accordingly. The wider track means nearly half the bodywork has been redesigned, with restyling of the Hunter to suit the new regulations while keeping the same distinctive look.
Prodrive has taken the opportunity to increase the windscreen size and fit a new programmable wiper motor to improve the driver’s visibility. The onboard jacks are now lighter and more robust, lift the car faster, and are powered by an electric pump for additional reliability.
‘We are very pleased the organisers have addressed the disparity in regulations between the buggies and the four-wheel-drive T1 cars, where larger tyres had an advantage over rough terrain,’ says Gus Beteli, BRX team principal. ‘We’ve learnt a huge amount on our debut in 2021 and have put all this learning into improving the car and believe our new Hunter T1+ is a significant step forward. We are looking forward to returning to Saudi in January, where we will be looking to challenge for victory.’
BRX competed with the T1 car for the last time at Baja Aragon, where the Hunter showed pace-setting fastest times on eight of the rally’s 11 sectors. The first Hunter T1+ car is currently being built at Prodrive’s headquarters in the UK and will run for the first time in September 2021. The new car is also available to customers to compete in FIA Cross Country events, Bajas and Dakar in 2022.