Published on January 17th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Dakar is over- MINI takes 2nd place
Once again the MINI brand celebrates success at the Dakar Rally with Al-Attiyah (QAT) and co-pilot Mathieu Baumel (FRA) completing the 38th edition of the Dakar Rally as best placed all-wheel drive car. The provisional general ranking results show Stéphane Peterhansel as the quickest man overall in category and congratulations are extended to Peugeot. In the meantime, AXION X-raid Team driver Al-Attiyah is listed as finishing with a hard fought second. The result of an ongoing race appeal will determine the full and official result.
Al-Attiyah and Baumel drove a superb 9000km race in the #300 MINI ALL4 Racing to win the battle of the 4×4 vehicles, in particular against a determined effort by Toyota. Two stage wins by the Al-Attiyah / Baumel pairing ensured the outcome would be a MINI ALL4 Racing at the front of the pack. The famed reliability and performance of the MINI ALL4 Racing went hand in hand with the determination of all the MINI ALL4 Racing family to achieve an incredible result of four MINI ALL Racing positioned within the top ten finishers – a result in itself and rubberstamped by the fact seven MINI ALL4 Racing completed Dakar within the top 15.
Further celebration within the MINI ALL4 Racing camp will also come in the knowledge that former WRC star Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) successfully completed his Dakar debut with a well-deserved top five finish. The AXION X-raid Team (#315) driver along with co-driver Michel Périn (FRA) also achieved a fantastic stage win, which itself is complemented by a series of top five placings in the 13 stage Dakar race. Spanish stars Joan ‘Nani’ Roma and Alex Haro (AXION X-raid Team #304) secured a 2016 Dakar top ten position in their AXION X-raid MINI ALL4 Racing after a dramatic fight back. Their start of the 2016 Dakar was upsetting to say the least when bad luck placed them deep in a mud hole for over 45 minutes to knock them far down the overall standings. To complete Dakar is one thing; to draw on their skills to complete in the top ten is something else altogether.
The #323 MINI ALL4 Racing of Harry Hunt (GBR) and Andreas Schulz (GER) was the fourth MINI ALL4 Racing to be placed within the top ten finishers. This is a remarkable achievement for the young Englishman considering, like Hirvonen, this was his first Dakar event. Consistent racing along with Schulz’s guiding hand of experience definitely made this a Dakar an event the X-raid team driver will never forget. Orlando Terranova (ARG) and co-driver Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue (ARG) from AXION X-raid Team (#310) also had to apply all their experience to net the top 15 finish they are credited with. Exactly like Roma on Stage 2, Terranova was a victim of deep mud resulting in many lost minutes, which was compounded by another delay due to the terrible weather conditions.
Another MINI ALL4 Racing crew who had to fight against early setback was that of Dutch duo Erik van Loon and Wouter Rosegaar of #306 Van Loon Racing. Completing Dakar inside the top 15 was an astonishing end to an astonishing Dakar, arguably the wettest Dakar on record. Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and Andrei Rudnitski (BLR) of ORLEN Team (#327) are also credited with a top 15 finish for the MINI ALL4 Racing family. Yet again, the decision by a privateer to compete at the 2016 Dakar in a MINI ALL4 Racing paid off. This year was the first year former cross-country bike rider Przygonski had tackled Dakar on four wheels and the result justified his choice of car.
Three other MINI ALL4 Racing family members successfully completed the 2016 Dakar Rally despite overwhelming odds – odds that saw the original startline decimated by the terrain and stress of racing in the harshest conditions imaginable. Boris Garafulic (CHL) and Filipe Palmeiro (POR) of # 313 X-raid Team will join the crews of Nazareno Lopez (ARG) / Sergio Lafuente (URU) [X-raid Team #351] and Adam Malysz (POL) / Xavier Panseri (FRA) of ORLEN Team (#325) in celebrating their completion of the 2016 Dakar rally.
Once again the Dakar rally showed how it can destroy men and machines in one fell swoop. Therefore, the fact 10 competing MINI ALL4 Racing cars made it to the end of the Dakar pays testament to its design and durability – and also the quality of support from the service and support team from X-raid.
2016 Dakar Rally
Provisional MINI ALL4 Racing standings:
|2||Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)||Mathieu Baumel (FRA)||300||AXION X-raid Team||045:57:08|
|4||Mikko Hirvonen (FIN)||Michel Périn (FRA)||315||AXION X-raid Team||046:27:28|
|6||Joan ‘Nani’ Roma (ESP)||Alex Haro (ESP)||304||AXION X-raid Team||047:03:16|
|10||Harry Hunt (GB)||Andreas Schulz (GER)||323||X-raid Team||048:33:40|
|12||Orlando Terranova (ARG)||Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue (ARG)||310||AXION X-raid Team||050:31:04|
|Erik van Loon (NDL)||Wouter Rosegaar (NDL)||306||Van Loon Racing||050:44:23|
|16||Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL)||Andrei Rudnitski (BLR)||327||ORLEN Team||051:02:10|
|23||Boris Garafulic (CHL)||Filipe Palmeiro (POR)||313||X-raid Team||054:55:28|
|45||Nazareno Lopez (ARG)||Sergio Lafuente (URU)||351||X-raid Team||069:53:55|
|53||Adam Malysz (POL)||Xavier Panseri (FRA)||325||ORLEN Team||074:08:13|