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Stéphane Peterhansel has achieved his tenth Dakar victory, this time in a MINI All4 Racing. A seasoned veteran of the two-week long race, Peterhansel won his first Dakar at the age of 21.
His victory car this time around was a MINI All4 Racing built by German tuner X-Raid and was designed to look like a MINI Countryman even though it shared almost no stock parts with the production countryman. The All4 Racing weighed in at 4,100-lbs and featured a 3.0L twin-turbocharged diesel powerplant with 315-hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The engine was mated to a six-speed sequential gearbox while the car itself packed tons of high-tech race parts including water-cooled rear brakes.
The 2012 Dakar Rally took place over 5,500-miles through Peru, Chile and Argentina. Second place went to Nani Roma, who was also in a MINI All4 Racing and third place went to Giniel De Villiers in a Toyota Hilux.
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.
While MINI‘s WRC aspirations have garnered a lot of attention among fans of the automaker and racing enthusiasts, the British brand’s off-road ambitions won’t be limited to just one series. The German off-road X-raid Team has just announced it will run the new MINI All4 Racing car in the annual Dakar Rally, which now runs in South America, rather than on the traditional continent of Africa, due to security concerns.
The MINI All4 Racing car is part of a seven car team by X-raid, the largest one-team effort ever put forward in the legendary race.
Driving the Countryman-styled off-roader will be French driver Guerlain Chicherit and co-driver Michel Périn.
With a body made of carbon-kevlar, power comes from a twin-turbo diesel engine that makes 315-hp and 524 ft-lbs of torque.
Purpose-built for the series, X-raid touts numerous advantages of the MINI All4 Racing car over the X3 CC the team ran last year, including a lower center of gravity and a body than than be entirely changes in 30 minutes – ideal for allowing easier access to important mechanical parts underneath.
The 33rd running of the Darak Argentina-Chile starts this January 1st.