By Johan Laubscher
The 2015 Dakar Rally concluded on Saturday and all the various teams are preparing to ship out heading back home. CR Racing may not have taken part in the full rally, but they took the opportunity to test their Audi TDI powered Titano in Argentina, whilst the Dakar Rally continued on its way into South America.
The Italian team had entered the 2015 Dakar Rally, but electrical problems on the opening day from Buenos Aires to Villa Carlos Paz unfortunately sidelined the team. They knew the car was unproven and untested and thus decided to withdraw the entry and to spend the remaining time testing the vehicle in Argentina. The CR Racing crew has returned to Italy with the exception of their logistics team member who is still with the team's vehicles, along with all of the other Dakar competitors in Buenos Aires, preparing to be shipped and then transported back home.
Dakar 2015 got underway on 4 January. The Titano and its driving crew of Michele Cinotto and Fulvio Zini were the 97th starters in field of 137 cars. They began experiencing electrical problems within the opening kilometres. After changing the alternator and battery they managed to fire up the car and passed CP1 (passage control point) at the 15 km mark in a time of 4:11.29. A few kilometres later, between CP1 and CP2, the electrical problems returned and stranded the Titano in the stage, refusing to start. The team then decided to withdraw from the rally to rather concentrate on testing and preparing the Titano for the rest of 2015, rather than attempting the very long and challenging second stage of the Dakar with their unproven Titano.
CR Racing will now be heading home to Italy after having learnt a lot about their new Titano. Dakar 2015 may not have been the 9000 km adventure that the team had hoped for, but their early withdrawal offered them the time to gain valuable experience and data with the Titano. They are also planning to take part in a number of rally raid events this year in the build up to Dakar 2016.
You can find CR Racing on Twitter HERE (@CRracing_dakar) and Facebook HERE.