Motortrades Insight Magazine Online

DAKAR RALLY: MINI Countryman wins and dominates top four

Ref:A00052
Published: 21 January 2013
IN a repeat of last year's success, French duo Stephane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret have won the Dakar Rally 2013, with MINI dominating three of the top four places.

"This is a magnificent triumph and I would like to offer our congratulations on behalf of Mini not only to Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret, but also to Sven Quandt's entire X-raid Team," enthused Dr Kay Segler, Senior Vice President for MINI Brand Management."

With their overall time of 38:32.39, the lead pairing of the privately-entered X-raid Team from Trebur, Germany crossed the finish line in Santiago de Chile 42:22 minutes ahead of their nearest pursuers in the overall classification.

Mini Dakar Rally
Peterhansel on his way to victory.


He added: "The victory of the MINI ALL4 Racing last year was without doubt a surprise for many people. But now it is clear to everyone that this was no fluke. Anyone who comes home first after 8,600 kilometres (approx. 5,300 miles) in the world's toughest rally has achieved something amazing. We are incredibly proud to count these fantastic competitors as part of the MINI family."

Two other Countryman's finished third and fourth, beaten to second by the Toyota Hilux crewed by Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz.

Team Hallspeed
The Toyota Hilux outperformed expectations.


De Villiers, whose Hilux was prepared for the event by Team Hallspeed on behalf of Toyota South Africa, said: "We would never in our wildest dreams have believed that on the 2013 Dakar Rally we would better our third place from 2012. The competition this year was a lot stronger. There were numerous candidates for victory. We were the underdogs.

"Our reliability enabled us to not only master the Dakar, but also made the decisive difference. I am looking forward to next year."

Toyota
Toyota's Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz were delighted to separate the MINIs to finish 2nd.


It was the duo's remarkable consistency which earned the result: their Hilux, powered by a 5-litre production-based V8, finished in the top five on 11 of the 14 special stages. Only once did they slip outside the top 10, on stage three, they took a wrong slot and lost 27 minutes to Peterhansel.

It marks 47-year-old Peterhansel's 11th victory in the event, having won on a Yamaha motorbike six times in the 1990s and a heavily-modified Mitsubishi three times before his double with MINI.
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