June 14, 2024 New York

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This Week In Motors - ThisWeekInMotors > Blog > OFF-ROAD > THE NEW TEAM PRINCIPAL TASKED WITH GETTING LOEB’S FIRST DAKAR WIN

THE NEW TEAM PRINCIPAL TASKED WITH GETTING LOEB’S FIRST DAKAR WIN

With nearly two decades of experience in the upper echelons of rallying, Tiphanie Isnard is no stranger to the sport’s challenges and excitement.

Despite her extensive tenure, Isnard finds herself energized by the latest chapter in her career. Leading a team into battle feels like second nature to the Frenchwoman, who has collaborated with renowned figures such as Sébastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz.

However, this venture presents a distinct challenge—one that may require time to reach its full potential. Dacia’s inaugural motorsport endeavor is marked by ambitious goals, supported by esteemed preparer Prodrive and bolstered by proven talents like Loeb, Nasser Al-Attiyah, and Cristina Gutiérrez Herrero.

As team principal, Isnard sees her role as an opportunity rather than a burden, akin to her previous work with Citroën and Peugeot. She views rally raid as a thrilling adventure, albeit one that has evolved significantly since her last involvement.

The project’s ambition is palpable, with Isnard highlighting the collaborative efforts with Prodrive and Alpine Racing to develop the Sandrider car. Testing is slated to commence in April in the UK, followed by rigorous preparations leading up to the team’s debut at the Morocco Rally in October.

Isnard emphasizes the importance of building a competitive yet reliable car, acknowledging that the Dakar Rally—the ultimate goal—is a testbed for success.

Despite Dacia’s newcomer status, Isnard is determined to make a mark in the rally raid landscape. Drawing from her extensive experience, she embraces the challenge with a pragmatic approach, prioritizing teamwork and problem-solving.

As preparations intensify, Isnard remains focused on laying a solid foundation for Dacia’s foray into rally raid, with eyes set firmly on Dakar victory. With Loeb, Al-Attiyah, and Gutiérrez leading the charge, Isnard is poised to make waves in a traditionally male-dominated sport, reaffirming the role of women as formidable competitors in motorsport.

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