After four days of competition the X-Raid Mini All4s are leading the way in this year’s Dakar Rally. At the end of day four of the fifteen day event, the leader was X-Raid’s Stephane Peterhansel and his co-driver Jean Paul Cottret. Peterhansel has won the Dakar six times on bikes and three times in cars, all when the event was run in Africa.
Peterhansel’s Mini is one of five brought to South America for the 2012 Dakar by X-Raid team principal Sven Quandt. He has also brought three X3s, but the Minis are by far the stronger competitors in the early going this year. X-Raid’s web site provides daily updates and detailed information on its cars and drivers. (Text continues after photo)
Last year’s Dakar winning VW team is not running this season, but Nasser Al Attiyah, the winning 2011 driver, is back, running a Hummer for Robby Gordon. The Hummers of Al Attiyah and Gordon and the Toyota of Giniel de Villiers have been the Minis’ toughest competitors in the first four stages of the event. Al Attiyah, who experienced setbacks on stage one, was leading stage four until mechanical problems cost him 24 minutes. He finished the day seventh overall.
After stage four, de Villiers was second, just 5 minutes and 41 seconds behind Peterhansel, while Mini runners Nani Roma and Krzysztof Holowczyc were third and fourth and Robby Gordon was fifth.
This year’s Dakar began on New Year’s Day in the Atlantic coast town of Mar Del Plata in Argentina. After six stages in Argentina it moves to Chile, and then finishes on the Pacific coast in Lima, Peru on January 15 after running across terrain that ranges from the Atacama desert to the Andes mountains The complete schedule and daily updates are available on the official event web site.
The new NBC Sports channel (it used to be Versus) is providing daily updates at 1:30 AM eastern time, with repeats at 5:00-5:30 and 6:00-6:30 PM eastern.—Brian S. Morgan, motorsports editor, bmwcca.orgBack to News