Winning the Rally Dakar in January of this year was a milestone victory for the X-raid Team. When record-breaking champion Stéphane Peterhansel claimed the title in the MINI ALL4 Racing, it was also the first Dakar victory for Team Principal Sven Quandt’s outfit. The MINI ALL4 Racing also enjoyed a successful preparation for the 2012 Dakar, earning a reputation as a force to be reckoned with during the 2011 season.
This season, the X-raid Team will once again line up with the remarkable MINI ALL4 Racing. At the start of November, after the Baja Portalegre, Khalifa Al Mutaiwei celebrated another highlight when he won the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies: this was the fifth time in a row that the X-raid team had won the World Cup. It was also Khalifa’s second overall victory, following his success in 2004.
The MINI had also shown great form in the run-up to the latest success: first place at the “Hail Rally” in Saudi Arabia in March, courtesy of Yazeed Al-Rajhi. This was followed in April by Khalifa’s second place at the “Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge”. In July, Stéphane emerged victorious at the first start of the season – the “Baja Spain” – while Nani Roma was runner-up at the “Desafío Litoral” in South America. In August he added another victory at the “Rally dos Sertoes” in Brazil. Krzysztof Holowczyc also got in on the act, winning September’s “Baja Poland”. As with all the aforementioned wins, Holowczyc’s success came at the wheel of the MINI ALL4 Racing.
The team is now looking ahead confidently to the 2013 Rally Dakar, for which the countdown is already on. The starting signal will be given in Lima, Peru, on 5th
January. The competitors will then be faced by over 8,000 kilometres as they cross Argentina towards Santiago de Chile. The Dakar circus will reach the Chilean capital on 20th
January, when the 2013 champion will be unveiled. Team Principal Sven Quandt says: "We have prepared well and enjoyed some success. Our focus is now entirely on the start of the Dakar in January.”
As the record-winner of the Dakar, Stéphane will lead the X-raid Team’s top pairing. He signed an extension to his contract this spring, and is now to defend his title. “Victory at the 2012 Dakar was a special one: the tenth overall win of my career and, at the same time, the first for the X-raid Team and MINI,” said Stéphane. “I am already looking forward to getting started, and will do my best to score another great result.” Stéphane’s co-driver will once again be the experienced Jean-Paul Cottret.
The second MINI ALL4 Racing will be driven by Spain’s Nani Roma, who finished runner-up behind Stéphane at the 2012 Dakar. Number three is Krzysztof Holowczyc from Poland – himself a veteran of seven Dakars and winner of the 2011 Silk Way Rally. The quartet of MINI ALL4 Racings is completed by Leonid Novitskiy (Russia), winner of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies in 2010 and 2011, who finished in an excellent fourth place at last year’s Dakar.
staging of the toughest marathon rally in the world gets underway in less than 50 days. You can find updates on the X-raid Team and the 2013 Rally Dakar here and at Facebook.com/MINImotorsport and Twitter.com/MINImotorsport.
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