Pewano Rally Raid team from Sweden entered the starting line at the 2012 Dakar Rally in a Volvo XC60 RR car built with TeXtreme® Spread Tow carbon fabrics. The 2012 Dakar Rally is the 33rd running of the event and this year’s race starts in Argentina and finishes in Peru.
Pewano team raced a PEWANO XC60 RR car, which they have developed themselves. PEWANO XC60 RR is a tubeframe chassis built for the Cross Country Rallies and the Dakar. The car has a design based on Volvo XC60 with a carbon fiber body, the Rally Raid car is, however, 180 mm wider than the regular XC60. For the bodywork composite parts the natural choice was TeXtreme® carbon reinforcements due its unique weight saving and mechanical performance benefits.
TeXtreme® Spread Tow Reinforcements use spread tows to produce optimized reinforcements for ultra light composites. Spreading tows into very thin tapes enables production of both unidirectional and woven reinforcements that present improved mechanical performance and weight savings that are unrivaled compared to conventional reinforcements.
Pewano, however, did not get an opportunity to compete to their capacity. Halfway into the first special a fire forced driver Alfie Cox and co-driver Jürgen Schröder to abandon the car. Very positively both Cox and Schröder got out of the car unharmed.
Hans Sönksen, Team Manager of Pewano, says: “It was during the first stage between Mar del Plata and Santa Rosa de la Pampa, after a couple hours of faultless driving, that something went wrong. With the car gutted by the flames, it’s not possible to determine what caused the fire, but we believe that a leak in either the powersteering pump or one of the hoses in the powersteering system was the cause”.
Driver Alfie Cox comments: “It could have been much worse, we escaped and we are shocked, but otherwise fine. I feel truly sorry for the team; they worked really hard in preparing the car. Now we will re-group, and plan our way forward."