Thousands of fans assembled in front of the main stage at the MINI United fan festival in France to listen with bated breath to what Stéphane Peterhansel had to say. The ten-time winner of the Dakar Rally was the last of the MINI drivers to take to the main stage in the festival zone at the Circuit Paul Ricard for the grand presentation of drivers on Friday evening. Before his announcement, the assembled MINI fans loudly applauded their idols from all the motorsport disciplines that the MINI brand is actively involved in. But when the presenter asked Stéphane what the future held in store for him in terms of motorsport, something of a hush descended over the crowd.
Since his triumphant win in the Dakar Rally in mid-January, there have been numerous rumours suggesting Stéphane was considering no longer competing in the world’s toughest rally. He has now won the event ten times – that’s more than any other entrant in the history of the Dakar Rally. He scored six of his wins on a motorbike and four in a car, most recently in a MINI ALL4 Racing for the X-raid team. For the experienced team from Germany, this marked the first Dakar win in the company’s history. “Winning the 2012 Dakar Rally was one of the most satisfying victories for me in my long Dakar history,” said Stéphane, who then added: “This win brought me to a crossroads in my career.”
The question he was asking himself was: “Do I keep going or is it time to withdraw completely from professional rallying?” But then came the all-important words that let the MINI fans, who travelled to France from all over the world, breathe a sigh of relief. “I’m still having a lot of fun and am full of motivation, so together with my team, I will be entering once again to win the 2013 Dakar Rally,” said Stéphane. His announcement was met with rapturous applause.
The project of defending his title in a MINI ALL4 Racing in the 2013 Dakar Rally has therefore been initiated, and MINI fans can once again look forward to 15 days of thrilling action. The first leg is scheduled to start in Lima, Peru, on 5 January 2013. From there, the route stretches across approximately 8,000 kilometres, travelling in the opposite direction to the 2012 Dakar Rally. The 2013 winner will then step up onto the winners’ rostrum in Santiago de Chile on 20 January.
A good eight weeks after his Dakar victory, Stéphane Peterhansel is back in Dakar mode. The eleven-time Dakar champion will be back to defend his title in 2014 – in a MINI ALL4 Racing.
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A good month and a half after winning the Rally Dakar, MINI is launching the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4 Racing Dakar Winner 2013 – in a seriously limited edition.
Ultimate cornering, breathtaking acceleration.
Nobody has more Dakar victories to his name than Stéphane Peterhansel. For every one of his eleven titles we have twice as many photos of his most recent success: Congratulations, Stéphane.
A car built for victory. The MINI John Cooper Works Challenge races across the track at 240 km/h.
Experience MINI John Cooper Works.