With work only just beginning in late 2019, the BRX team suddenly came up against what would be one of the biggest challenges that hit the industry thus far. “We often put ourselves in tough positions, time-wise. But COVID-19 really threw a wrench in our already-tight timeline,” said Paul Doe, chief engineer at Prodrive. “In the UK, there was a lockdown that effectively forced us to close the factory for a while. Development that should have taken about a year was compressed into nine months. Instead of testing in July, we didn’t end up turning a wheel on a car until October 2020.”
With the Dakar Rally scheduled for the first two weeks of January 2021, this put an immense amount of pressure on the whole team. Although BRX includes 40 people to design, engineer, service, and operate the Hunter T1 vehicles, the team was stretched thin with an atypically shorter timeline. Additionally, although Prodrive offered in-house manufacturing, fabricating, and machining capabilities, the team was competing for resources with other projects.