Philippe Croizon will drive the first ever cross-country competition car with an integrated fuel cell system, the culmination of efforts made by GCK’s various entities.
In January 2024, the adventurer – Philippe Croizon – will become the first person to participate in the Dakar Rally with a hydrogen racing car. The vehicle is prepared by the French team of GCK Motorsport, a subsidiary of Green Corp Konnection (GCK) Group. Philippe Croizon is both an elite athlete and a remarkable Frenchman. He now faces a new colossal challenge behind the wheel of the GCK e-Blast H2.
After an accident that led to the loss of all four of his limbs, Philippe Croizon has used his disability as a strength to overcome obstacles and achieve many feats. Philippe’s achievements inspire admiration. In 2010, he swam the English Channel before crossing the five continents in the same way in 2012.
Then, in 2013, he broke the diving record for a quadruple amputee before participating in the 2017 Dakar Rally. Ending in 49th position, Philippe earned admiration the world over. In doing so, he developed an interest in what many consider to be the hardest car race.
Philippe is busy working hard behind the scenes as he looks forward to this new challenge: “I am thrilled to embark on this new adventure, becoming the first Dakar Rally driver to race with a hydrogen car built by the GCK Motorsport team! Together, we will find a new way to conquer the impossible. I am proud to take up this sporting and technology baton as we tackle one of the world’s trickiest races.”
The GCK e-Blast H2, a unique hydrogen-powered vehicle
Philippe Croizon joins a trailblazing programme kick-started by GCK Motorsport in November 2020. Its overall goal? Become the first team to win the Dakar Rally with a zero-emission hydrogen-powered vehicle. Spearheading the Dakar Future project of A.SO., the Company that organises the world-renowned cross-country race, the French team formed by French driver Guerlain Chicherit unveiled the GCK e-Blast H2 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last January.
For GCK Group, motorsport represents an invaluable innovation laboratory. It enables the Group to test technological solutions – developed through its Technology & Industry Division – in the most extreme conditions including this fuel cell which is the first of its kind. Powered by 700-bar hydrogen, its final volume of 30kg will be stored in four R134 certified tanks to deliver 200kW of energy. The fuel cell will also be used in GCK-retrofitted snow groomers at the Alpe d'Huez ski resort in southeastern France. Such a feat is a testament to the potential connections between competition and everyday life.
Guerlain Chicherit, President of GCK, said: "I feel privileged to call Philippe Croizon one of our own GCK Motorsport teammates. Dakar is the toughest world race – I should know after competing there on several occasions. Philippe’s extraordinary achievements and exceptional determination command the utmost respect. Philippe will be a standard-bearer for GCK Group’s values of excellence and innovation, both of which are central to our industrial project.”