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The second of the ten-round 2015 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (27 March – 2 April), sees eight MINI ALL4 Racing cars piloted by drivers spanning eight nationalities. Of the eight on the stage, MINI welcomes three new drivers to the competing MINI ALL4 Racing crews.

Former champion ski jumper Adam Malysz (POL) and Harry Hunt (GBR) join MINI with its already accomplished MINI ALL4 Racing line-up in order to make their mark on the podium at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – and to further MINI’s successes within the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup.

Adam Malysz is no stranger to the competitive and exciting driving scene of Cross Country Rally, having competed in the Dakar four times. Prior to competitive driving, Adam, 37, had a successful career as a world class and Olympic ski jumper, where he not only captured four Ski Jumping World Cup titles, four individual Olympic Games medals and amassed an incredible 92 podiums, but also earned the tag of “The Polish Eagle” by his fellow countrymen. Joining Polish national hero Adam in the cab of his MINI ALL4 Racing is his highly experienced compatriot Rafal Marton.

Speaking ahead of his first competitive drive in a MINI ALL4 Racing, Adam Malysz said: “To get behind the wheel of a MINI ALL4 Racing is something that, I’m sure, all my fellow competitors would love to do. It’s a successful machine because it comes with that rare mix of capability from the off and drivability.”

Harry Hunt, 26, may not have amassed the same Cross Country Rally experience as his fellow MINI ALL4 Racing drivers, but he has already made big strides in the world of rally driving. This London-based young man has already been crowned a champion, when he won the 2012 Intercontinental rally Challenge 2WD Cup. Assisting Harry Hunt to gain familiarity with his world-class-winning MINI ALL4 Racing in the arid conditions of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is highly respected German Andreas Schulz.

Harry Hunt mirrored the Polish driver’s view but also said: “This is like a dream come true. To be my age with the chance to drive a championship-winning machine is something I cannot truly believe. I really hope I can pay back the faith MINI has shown to me with a good result.”

The two newcomers will be in good company at the second round of the 2015 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup. Their MINI ALL4 Racing compatriots, including fellow newcomer Lucio Alvarez, read like a dream team…

The Russian duo of Vladimir Vasilyev / Konstantin Zhiltsov has already signaled intention to repeat their winning performance at the 2014 edition of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Their second place in the season opener Baja Russia – Nothern Forest (20 – 22 February) was a hard fought result. The racing, however, will be just as tough on the ground of the Abu Dhabi emirate with the likes of Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT), Orlando Terranova (ARG) and the other MINI ALL4 Racing stars joining the action.

The full line up of MINI ALL4 Racing crews competing in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – round two, 2015 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup – is as follows:

Driver Co-driver
Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) Mathieu Baumel (FRA)
Orlando Terranova (ARG) Bernardo Graue (ARG)
Erik Van Loon (NLD) Wouter Rosegaar (NLD)
Vladimir Vasiyev (RUS) Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS)
Lucio Alvarez (ARG) Gabriel Moiset (ESP)
Adam Malysz (POL) Rafal Marton (POL)
Stephan Schott (DEU) Xavier Panseri (FRA)
Harry Hunt (GBR) Andreas Schulz (DEU)

Race calendar: 2015 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies.
20/02 – 22/02 Baja Russia
27/03 – 02/04 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
18/04 – 24/04 Sealine Cross-Country Rally Qatar
10/05 – 17/05 Pharaons Rally
25/06 – 28/06 Italian Baja
24/07 – 26/07 Baja Aragón
13/08 – 16/08 HunGarian Baja
03/10 – 09/10 Rallye du Maroc
22/10 – 24/10 Baja Portalegre 500

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