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Mini Dakar14aOn the eve of the first leg of the 2014 Dakar Rally the MINI brand and the X-raid Team are looking forward to defending their 2013 Dakar title at the world’s most challenging endurance rally. A record-setting eleven MINI ALL4 Racing cars will compete in the 36th Dakar edition between 05th -18th January, spearheaded by 11-time champion Stéphane Peterhansel (FR) who also claimed Dakar victories in the MINI ALL4 Racing in 2012 and 2013.

Ahead of the Dakar start which takes place in Rosario, Argentina, the factory-supported X-raid Team has already successfully shipped the eleven MINI ALL4 Racing cars from the team’s headquarters in Trebur, Germany, to South America. Now the 120 team members and eleven driver pairings in the cockpits of the MINI ALL4 Racing cars are ready to start “mission title defence”. The challenge ahead: a total of 9,374 kilometres, 5,522 of them will be timed during 13 competitive legs.

Since winning the 2013 Dakar, the X-raid Team has continued the fine tuning of the MINI ALL4 Racing. So MINI and the X-raid Team are confident that a good team result and successful title defence are possible in South America. Says Peterhansel: “I think we are going in the right direction. I won the last two Dakar Rallies. Even though this does not mean anything for the next event, as each rally is a new chapter, obviously it is my goal is to win the Dakar Rally again.” Peterhansel’s team-mate Joan “Nani” Roma (ES) who won the 2004 Dakar on a motorbike is equally motivated. “I can still remember how it felt when I won the Dakar ten years ago,” says the Spaniard. “You never forget that. And you are always hungry for more.”

Peterhansel, Roma and the rest of the X-raid Team drivers which also include the 2011 Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah (QT) as well as the 2013 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies champion Krzysztof Holowczyc (PL) can again count on the performance of the MINI ALL4 Racing which is based on the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, modified to successfully meet the demands of long-distance rallying. With a combination of power, reliability and efficiency the MINI ALL4 Racing proved its competiveness right from its first Dakar start while also immediately winning the hearts of the fans.

On only its second Dakar appearance, the MINI ALL4 Racing made the big breakthrough by winning the 2012 Dakar Rally. In 2013 the MINI brand proved that its Dakar success was no flash in the pan by defending its title at the first attempt. Motorsport is in the DNA of MINI. This is one of the reasons why MINI is competing in the Dakar. Another reason lies in the core values of MINI: excitement and agility – which are very much part of motorsport and consistent with the image of the Dakar. Plus, the MINI brand also looks to anchor the MINI and John Cooper Works brands among the global fan base of the Dakar Rally thanks to its international media coverage which generates a huge worldwide visibility.

Dakar Rally Day 1 Quick Facts.

Date: 05th January, 2014
Start/finish: Rosario (AR)/San Luis (AR) – Leg 1
Official starting time (cars): 12.52 ART (UTC -3)
Total distance: 809 km, Special stage: 180 km, Liaison: 629 km

2014 Dakar MINI Driver Lineup.

#300 MINI ALL4 Racing.
Monster Energy X-raid Team
Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret (FR/FR)

#301 MINI ALL4 Racing.
X-raid Team
Nasser Al-Attiyah/Lucas Cruz (QT/ES)

#304 MINI ALL4 Racing.
Monster Energy X-raid Team
Joan “Nani” Roma/Michel Périn (ES/FR)

#307 MINI ALL4 Racing.
Monster Energy X-raid Team
Orlando Terranova/Paulo Fiúza (AR/PT).

#309 MINI ALL4 Racing.
Monster Energy X-raid Team
Krzysztof Holowczyc/Konstantin Zhiltsov (PL/RU)

#314 MINI ALL4 Racing.
X-raid Team
Vladimir Vasilyev/Vitaliy Yevtyekhov (RU/RU)

#317 MINI ALL4 Racing.
X-raid Team
Boris Garafulic/Gilles Picard (CL/FR)

#319 MINI ALL4 Racing.
X-raid Team
Zhou Yong/Pan Hong Yu (CN/CN)

#330 MINI ALL4 Racing.
X-raid Team
Federico Villagra/Jorge Perez Companc (AR/AR)

#332 MINI ALL4 Racing.
X-raid Team.
Martin Kaczmarski/Filipe Palmeiro (PL/PT)

#337 MINI ALL4 Racing.
X-raid Team
Stephan Schott/Holm Schmidt (DE/DE)

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