Stéphane Peterhansel celebrated his 10th Dakar win, representing at the same time the MINI ALL4 Racing’ and the X-raid Team’s first triumph in the gruelling event! Just 14 months after the unveiling of the German squad’s latest vehicle, the off-road racing crown was secured by the Trebur based team…
But the success story didn’t end with Peterhansel’s win, as all the five MINIs ALL4 Racing entered by the team made it to the top 10. Nani Roma (ESP) ad Michel Périn (FRA) impressed by celebrating three special-stage wins and finished runner-up, thus giving the Monster Energy X-raid Team a one-two, in the 2012 Dakar. Meanwhile, Russia’s Leonid Novitskiy and his German navigator Andi Schulz demonstrated that consistency is the right approach for being successful. They won the first special stage and afterwards, they successfully avoided getting involved in any major problems. Finishing fourth in the overall rankings represented the well-deserved reward – and the best Dakar result ever secured by a Russian driver in the Dakar’s car ranking. In addition, Novitskyi also was the best-place semi-professional driver in the 2012 edition of the event.
For a long time, Polish-Belgian pairing Krzysztof Holowczyc / Jean-Marc Fortin also proved to be a factor in the battle for a top-three position. In the 10th special stage, however, their ORLEN MINI ALL4 Racing encountered problems that cost them their chance of making it to the podium. The fifth Monster Energy X-raid Team pairing, the Portuguese Ricardo Leal dos Santos und Paulo Fiuza, completed the outstanding team success by taking their red MINI ALL4 Racing to eighth position in the overall rankings.
And the Monster Energy X-raid Team did not only convince by this fantastic Dakar success but also by outstanding reliability. Other than expected by many pundits, all the eight vehicles entered by the German squad – five MINIs ALL4 Racing and three BMWs X3 CC – survived the entire event and made it to the finish in Lima. “Apart from our win, this is the biggest success for our team,” added Quandt. “Our engineers and mechanics did a fantastic job preparing the cars on every single day, thus laying the foundation for this success…”
Dakar record winner Peterhansel switched to Team x-raid following the 2009 Dakar. Up to that point in time, Mr. Dakar had celebrated 6 motorbike wins (1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998) and three on four wheels (2004, 2005, 2007), in the legendary event. Now, by his first win in South America, he added triumph No 10 – by delivering in his well-known style. Peterhansel celebrated three special stage wins in this year’s Dakar and convinced – as usual – by consistency and a matured style of driving. Thanks to this approach, he avoided getting involved in any major problems and on day three, he took the lead for the second time to defend it until the rally was over…
I’ve followed the X-Raid team for a decade, now. This year’s victory – their first in the Dakar – succeeded beyond wildest expectations. Essential to their effort has been the reliability of diesel racing engines. This year’s 6-cylinder, twin-turbo BMW powerplant running flawlessly throughout. The all-wheel-drive Minis were stellar.
Congratulations, folks, on a terrific team and a superlative victory.