|SA-Dakar 2012: "Great Wall" team with Carlos Sousa and secret BMW X3CC.|
With the participation of the first foreign racer and the strong supports of two racing cars and six support cars, Great Wall Motors will represent China’s racing cars for the third time to compete in Dakar's tracks. Great Wall Motors will send two racers with two racing cars to the racing, in which, besides Zhou Yong, another one is a famous Portuguese racer, Carlos Sousa.
Since 1996, Carlos Sousa has competed in the Dakar Rally for twelve times with the record of finishing it for eleven times and being listed in the Top Ten for eight times, including coming the fourth in 2003 as the best. In the 2012 Dakar Rally, Great Wall Motors aims at much better performance with the "double insurances" of Sousa and Yong.
As far as the racing team is concerned, Great Wall Motors makes its Great Wall Racing Team with two third-generation Haval SUVs and the six support cars, which include three large 4WD trucks, one small 4WD working car and two exclusive cars of Haval H3 and Wingle 5 for interview.
Rumours said, that the new Great Wall Haval is simply a new or former X-raid BMW X3CC platform. The car looks totally similar in many technical and optical parts, Great Wall changed from petrol- to diesel-engine - or is China copying again?
It looks to be a big secret. Great Wall officially announced no technical details (because they would be similar with the BMW-Engine) and most of the parts are 100% similar with the former X-Raid BMW. Thomas Quandt from X-raid officially says: "We only helped Great Wall, like we helped Volvo Pewano". But this is the "light" answer, because inside the Volvo is maybe 20% X-raid, but the Great Walls are nearly identically.
Dong Ming, Great Wall Motors’s Vice-president, said: "The third-generation Haval racing cars can surely achieve good results for its great potentials. Great Wall Motors Technology Institute and European vehicle experts have made certain debugging about the driving force, hanging and safety control of the racing cars according to the requirements of the Dakar Rally."
Great Wall shortens the length of the second-generation racing cars, thus to ensure a more flexible drive. The gasoline engines in the previous two years have been replaced by diesel ones, which not only conforms to the product plan of Haval SUV, but represents the develop trend of racing cars at home and abroad. With the same volume of the tank, racing cars supported by diesel have stronger dynamics and a longer traveled distance.
With the purpose of preparing Haval SUV best, Great Wall carried out a series of technologically fatigue tests for the two cars. All the tests took place in the Sahara Desert in the North Africa, mainly including road of desert and gravels. High sand hills, continuous sand dunes, rugged "chicken coops" and the high heat of 40 degrees on the earth surface, all these brought the real tests for the maneuverability and cooling system of Haval racing cars. In the days to come, the team will do further debugging and then the final spraying, after which, the cars will be aired to Argentina in the middle December.
As one of China’s self-researched vehicle brands, Haval ranks first in export volume among the China’s SUV model, remaining the domestic sales champions and boasting the largest export volume for eight consecutive years. Since being listed in 2005, Haval has won auto cross races and rallies held domestically for many times. In the 2011 Dakar Rally, Zhou Yong finally ranked the 22nd of total scores and the 1st of all the Chinese racers.
2011/12/31 | 18:08 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/RRMG