X-raid Team recruits ten experts for 2012 Rally Dakar

The X-raid Team is drawing on experience for the 2012 Dakar Rally by assembling a group of drivers with a winning mentality.

Spearheading the team is the legendary Stéphane Peterhansel. Now aged 46, Peterhansel enjoyed his first Dakar win – on a motorbike – back in 1991. Five more wins followed, before a switch to four wheels saw a further three victories – the last in 2007. Judging by his 2011 form: an Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge win and two seconds places at Russia’s Silk Way Rally and the Baja Poland, Peterhansel is obviously liking the MINI ALL4 Racing car, and this bodes well for January.

Apart from “Mister Dakar” it’s safe to say that the rest of the team is also up to speed, with drivers such as Leonid Novitskiy, Krzysztof Holowczyc, Nani Roma and Ricardo Leal dos Santos achieving ten top five finishes this season – including five wins and eight podiums.

The 8,000 kilometre event runs from from the Atlantic coast in Argentina and across South America to Chile, before the rally culminates in Peru. The five MINI ALL4 Racing cars, which develop 315 hp from their 3.0 L diesel engines, will be need to run like clockwork in order to cover the 800 kilometres per day that is asked of them. It’s no wonder around 50 percent of the Dakar entrants retire each year.

[Source: MINI Motorsport]

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