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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Dec 01 2011, 1:15 PM

There are many tough races on the global motorsports calendar, but perhaps none more so than the Dakar rally.

The rally started back in 1978 and was originally called the Paris-Dakar rally due to its geographic location. However, due to safety concerns, the event was moved to South America in 2009, where it has remained to this day. The event is now simply called the Dakar rally, and for the 2012 event will cover 8000-kilometers (4968-miles). The route for the 2012 event will start from the Atlantic coast in Argentina to across South America and ending the event in Peru.

Each contestant will be required to cover 10% of the distance each day, and since the route will include vast desert landscapes, craggy canyons, impassable pebble plains and the Andes mountain, it will not be an easy trek. While only 50% of the competitors complete this grueling rally, it still attracts a vast array of trucks, bikes, quads and cars to this annual event.

One of the cars making its debut at the Dakar will be the Mini ALL4 Racing by the X-Raid team. They are entering five of these new rally cars which feature a 315-hp, 3.0-liter diesel engine. The all-wheel drive ALL4 is based on the new Mini Countryman.

Only time will tell if the Mini will prove victorious at the Dakar. The event starts on January 1, 2012.


 |  Jun 08 2011, 4:48 PM

Aston Martin’s V12 Vantage Zagato race car will be heading to the infamous Nüburgring this weekend for a warm up race as the works team prepares for the 24 hour endurance event on the 25-26 June.

The 51st ADAC Reinoldus-Langstreckenrennen VLN5 four-hour race will be used as a test session to evaluate the race car’s setup as well as familiarize the drivers with the course. It also marks the first time that both V12 Zagato race cars will have run together in competition.

For this coming weekend’s event, the first of the two cars will be driven by Aston’s CEO Dr. Ulrich Betz, who will be joined by the company’s Nürburgring Test Centre Director, Wolfgang Schuhbauer and experienced amateur racer Peter Cate.

Meanwhile, the second Zagato racer will be piloted by One-77 Engineer Chris Porritt, sports car driver Oliver Mathai and Auto Journalist Richard Meaden.

The 51st ADAC Reinoldus-Langstreckenrennen VLN5 four-hour race will begin at 12 noon Central European Time (6.00 am Eastern Standard Time) on Saturday 11th June and live updates of the Aston Martin team’s progress will available by following the company’s official Twitter feed – @astonmartin.