Driving a Motul-lubricated Prodrive Hunter rally car, Guerlain Chicherit and Alex Winocq recently took the win at the Rally of Morocco. It was a crucial stage for GCK Motorsport’s preparation for the Dakar Rally. Now with the Andalucía Rally to further test the Hunter, we chatted with cross country team manager for GCK Motorsport, Sébastien Lesonneur, to find out more about the team’s rally ambitions for 2023.
Sébastien, your team had great success at the Rally of Morocco. Can you tell us more about GCK?
We started the programme this summer by signing a contract with Prodrive until Dakar 2024. We have a full season next year. Morocco and Andalucía are the preparation for the season. It was really good to see that straight away Guerlain Chicherit and Alex Winocq were on the pace and feeling good with the car. So, to win the Morocco Rally was great.
Why are the Andalucía and Morocco rallies good prep for the Dakar?
We consider both rallies as a big test to prepare for the Dakar. Straight away Morocco went really well, and Andalucía is starting today [at the time of this interview]. Both Guerlain and Alex did an amazing job in Morocco. Then we were straight away able to fight for the win. We made a plan to make it happen and everything went accordingly.
After that great win in Morocco, are your expectations high for the Andalucía Rally?
The first target is the next Dakar and the 2023 championship. We want to fight for the win in Dakar and the world championship title. At Andalucía, we don’t have any pressure. We are here to keep using the car and to get some mileage in it on a completely different type of road. But let’s see. Everything is on plan, and we will see after the prologue where we will be.
In terms of prep for the Dakar, what do you learn during events such as Andalucía and Morocco?
We know that it is already a very good car and very strong. There are no issues with it. What we need is to get mileage with it. To be as ready as we can for Dakar.
How important is the Motul partnership to GCK Motorsports?
The partnership with Motul and GCK Motorsports was formed before the Dakar last year. Motul is an important partner for us because we have been doing some technical developments with them for this car, but also our hydrogen programme.
What is it about Motul’s lubricants that really perform well with rally? Is it the balance between reliability and performance?
This is exactly what we need from Motul and it’s exactly what we get from its products. We know also that for our future generation cars, and our hydrogen prototype in particular, there’s a big challenge around the car in terms of cooling, which Motul is working with us on.
© pictures: DPPI