The X-raid Team and its MINI ALL4 Racings have been the dominating team of the Rally Dakar's first half. What will happen in the second?
Stéphane Peterhansel: If we want to win the Dakar we have to have a perfect rest of the rally. We must be clever and avoid making mistakes. During the first week we did a good job and the MINI ALL4 Racing was really perfect. We went seven days without having an issue at all. So I hope that the second week will be the same.
Everything seems to be flowing faultlessly. Has it really been such a smooth ride?
Stéphane: Yes, it was. I was not always fully attacking, just when I had a good feeling for the track. Then I tried to push things a bit more. I tried to maintain a good speed but did not go to the max too often.
What has been the toughest challenge so far?
Stéphane: Staying in the overall lead. Day four was especially tough after I had to start seventh overall. I had a headache from the day before but in the end I even managed to win the stage. But that was a tough day for sure. Now, we are up eleven minutes on the next car but we know that this means nothing in the desert. You get stuck only once, and the lead is gone. So doing the right things will be the toughest challenge for the rest of the Dakar.
Nasser Al-Attiyah has been fast recently. If he avoids making mistakes again, how can you keep him off your back?
Stéphane: Yes, Nasser in his Hummer is fast, but at the moment the other Hummer driver, Robby Gordon, in fourth place is even a bit closer than him. It all depends on the route. In the open terrain the Hummers are a bit faster than we are. But apart from that we will see what is happening.
What will be the most demanding stages until Lima and why?
The final two or three days will be tough. I have never been to Peru and I don't know the dunes. So everything will be completely new. But it will be for many other drivers too.
Throughout the Rally Dakar, you can keep up to speed with the latest news from the X-raid Team and the five MINI ALL4 Racings on the MINI Motorsport Twitter channel.
The X-raid team is out to extend its winning run at the Baja Poland. Khalifa Al Mutaiwei is aiming to extend his lead in the World Cup. Krzysztof Holowczyc is confident ahead of his home event.
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The X-raid team is taking its next step towards the 2013 Rally Dakar at the Baja Spain. The event is also Stéphane Peterhansel's first start since his Dakar victory in January.
Ultimate cornering, breathtaking acceleration.
A good five weeks after the X-raid team's one-two at the Rally Dakar, the victorious MINI ALL4 Racing cars have finally returned to the team's headquarters. This is the signal for the big homecoming party to begin.
A car built for victory. The MINI John Cooper Works Challenge races across the track at 240 km/h.
Experience MINI John Cooper Works.