MINI has won the 2013 Dakar Rally, a gruelling off-road rally raid race held this year over a 5,300-mile route between Lima, Peru and Santiago, Chile.
Stéphane Peterhansel and co-driver / navigator Jean-Paul Cottret drove the winning MINI Countryman-based ‘ALL4 Racing’ competition vehicle run by the X-raid Team, with the French pairing retaining their 2012 crown.
Their overall time of 38 hours 32 minutes and 39 seconds secured a 42 minute 22 second lead over their next closest competitors, cementing the British marque’s victory.
Senior Vice President MINI Brand Management, Dr Kay Segler:
“This is a magnificent triumph and I would like to offer our congratulations on behalf of MINI not only to Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret, but also to Sven Quandt’s entire X-raid Team.
“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 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.”
11-time Dakar winner Peterhansel took the overall lead after just two stages, defending the team’s winning margin to the finish to provide MINI with its second overall victory.
While the firm’s Countryman may not be doing so well in the World Rally Championship, it appears it’s more than a match for the tough terrain and testing stages of the Dakar Rally.
A special mention must go out to the Race2Recovery team too. Made up of British and American servicemen injured in conflict, although one vehicle was disqualified, a second forced to retire due to a mechanical problem and a third immobilised following a crash, the squad’s fourth vehicle finished the race.