Banbury's Prodrive design hub and factory is a super-school for Bahraini motorsport interns

Six students from three of Bahrain’s top Universities have enjoyed some unique schooling in top motorsport production with Banbury’s Prodrive.
David Richards is pictured with his protegees from Bahrain at the Prodrive factoryDavid Richards is pictured with his protegees from Bahrain at the Prodrive factory
David Richards is pictured with his protegees from Bahrain at the Prodrive factory

The students have been enjoying internships at Prodrive where they have been part of the design, construction and everyday operations with Bahrain Raid Xtreme Hunter cars that are currently leading the World Rally Raid Championship.

The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the students has seen the Bahrainis design parts that will be used on the actual BRX cars in the Dakar Rally while also being on the factory floor building new chassis that will be used in rallies this autumn in Morocco and Spain.

A hands-on approach has been very much the spirit of the internship with testing of engines on the dyno, learning about gearboxes and the future with how hybrid power will be integrated with the sustainable fuel already used to international motorsport success with the BRX Hunter T1+.

Bahraini university students got a huge amount out of their time at Prodrive in BanburyBahraini university students got a huge amount out of their time at Prodrive in Banbury
Bahraini university students got a huge amount out of their time at Prodrive in Banbury

David Richards, Chairman of Prodrive, has spearheaded this internship to exchange knowledge from decades of experience winning on a world stage over to the next generation.

"It’s great for Prodrive to be able to offer these Bahraini Engineering Students the opportunity to have an insight into all the technology behind the Bahrain Raid Extreme Team,” he said.

“During their time with us they have learnt how we design, manufacture and run the BRX Hunter on the world’s toughest motorsport event, the Dakar. We have also confirmed that when they finish their studies at university we will consider those who are interested for a full time role within the team.”

The company said this internship of Bahraini students has highlighted the ease and advantages of the new electronic visa waiver status that enables Bahraini and Saudi travellers to visit the UK for six months.

David Richards is pictured with the Bahraini students outside the Banbury Prodrive facilityDavid Richards is pictured with the Bahraini students outside the Banbury Prodrive facility
David Richards is pictured with the Bahraini students outside the Banbury Prodrive facility

Tasks for the students included being part of the BRX programme where they were involved in meetings for the build up for the team’s participation in the upcoming World Rally Raid Championship events in Morocco and Andalucia, including the critical detail of how such a rally is planned weeks ahead of the first green light of the event.

Jean Patrice Loof, Senior Rally Engineer with the Bahrain Raid Xtreme team said, “It’s been so interesting to show the students what we do every day on the Dakar with the BRX team.

"We set them complex tasks to calculate how much fuel would be needed on a 450km long stage of the Dakar Rally but with different dunes, rocks and tracks that throw up different fuel consumption scenarios plus wheel changes and navigation tasks too. It’s real world engineering that is so important to pass on to the next generation.”

Gus Beteli, Head of Performance of BRX said: “We were very impressed with the students as they were so engaged with how we built up towards Morocco asking so many interesting questions, but because they watch so much F1 they have a deep understanding of what happens when we run alternative tyre compounds, fuel loads and different drivers all against changing weather.”

You can see more action from the Prodrive team here.

The Bahrain Raid Xtreme team continue their preparations for the remaining events in this year’s World Rally Raid Championship with the Rallye du Maroc (October 1-6) and the Andalucia Rally soon after (October 18-23).