MINI Wins its Class at the Dakar Rally

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Stephane Peterhansel clinched his 10th Dakar Rally win today and the first for Mini as a brand in the car category. Peterhansel lead much the event in the category.

The Frenchman battled American Robby Gordon’s Hummer team for most of the way. However a combination of car issues and possible sanctions over a tire inflation system dropped the American back to 5th.

The X-raid team had entered five MINI ALL4 Racings at the Dakar. The fact that all five cars reached the finish shows the great reliability of the MINI ALL4 Racing as well as the quality of the X-raid team. Quandt: “I would like to say thank you very much to all the driver crews and the whole X-raid team for their superb efforts. They have made the first Dakar victory in the histrory of the X-raid team come true.”

The overall result is indeed an impressive one. All MINI ALL4 Racing drivers finished in the overall top ten. Nani Roma was second and Leonid Novitskiy fourth, while Ricardo Leal dos Santos and Krzystof Holowczyc claimed eighth and tenth places overall. Throughout the whole event, one of the X-raid team’s MINIs has always been sitting pretty on top of the overall standings.

  • bluzeke

    As he eats their dust, may Robby Gordon never forget that “MINI’s are for girls” !

  • fishbert

    Robby Gordon was disqualified a few days ago.  He’s appealing, but if the “possible sanctions” come to fruition, he would be out completely and the MINIs in 8th and 10th would move up a spot.

  • BilboBaggins

    I would be more impressed if the Dakar rally “MINI” actually had a MINI engine and drivetrain, not something out of a BMW X3.

    Photos from a year ago showed the engine bay and it clearly had the valve cover of a longitudinally oriented BMW 6 cyl.  So this vehicle is nothing more than a re-bodied X3 with a tube chassis.

  • BilboBaggins

    I would be more impressed if the Dakar rally “MINI” actually had a MINI engine and drivetrain, not something out of a BMW X3.

    Photos from a year ago showed the engine bay and it clearly had the valve cover of a longitudinally oriented BMW 6 cyl.  So this vehicle is nothing more than a re-bodied X3 with a tube chassis.

  • BilboBaggins

    I would be more impressed if the Dakar rally “MINI” actually had a MINI engine and drivetrain, not something out of a BMW X3.

    Photos from a year ago showed the engine bay and it clearly had the valve cover of a longitudinally oriented BMW 6 cyl.  So this vehicle is nothing more than a re-bodied X3 with a tube chassis.

    • BilboBaggins

      Watch this, especially between 0:28 – 0:33   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtCylxJTn6k&feature=player_embedded#!

    • BilboBaggins

      Better images here at 2:37 It might not be the X3 motor either, but it certainly isn’t a MINI motor.  Nice mid-engine chassis.

         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEb2jt89_4k&feature=related

    • http://www.nathanielsalzman.com Nathaniel Salzman

      So you’re not going to be happy until a stock Countryman wins Dakar? Someone gives this same empty criticism every time MINI wins something. All racing cars are purpose built to one degree or another. Some more, some less. It’s not like Robby Gordon was driving a stock Hummer. Even the MINI Challenge car isn’t a showroom engine or suspension.

      You say you’re not impressed, but I certainly am. MINI’s motorsports entries are doing phenomenally for such young teams. To win your class at Dakar your second year there, regardless of what car you’re using, is a significant achievement. To take multiple podiums your first year in WRC? These are not common results. Sure, it’s not a stock MINI underneath (none of the other race cars are either), but that’s not the point. MINI decided to go racing and so far they’re kicking some ass.

      • RB

        Kind of agree with both sides of this argument. I think it would be nice if it was a full on MINI motor custom built for the car but I do think it’s kool that the MINI nameplate was so well represented.

      • JonPD

        Though my opinion on the R60 is known I would have to say congrats to the team. Having said that though this is not a MINI. You could throw a Fiat, Ford, Honda body onto it (or any simular sized vehicle) and it would not make it a Fiat, Ford, or Honda. Its a BMW/MINI sponsored rally car. The parts that make this a MINI are basically the general shape and the brand logo. This is why I have more respect or the Pro-Drive WRC car than the Dakar car, while its true the WRC is still far apart from the R60 it actually is based off a R60. IMO

        • BilboBaggins

          Totally agree, JonPD

          The ST class in the Rolex/Continental Tire Grand-AM series has, or had, a team called RSR Motorsports that has done very well with, what started life as, an R53 chassis.  Class rules are very specific about what can be done to the cars.

          Competing against everything from a Mazada Miata to a BMW 328i and doing very well.  Winning pole position several times last year.  Placing fourth overall for the season, out of 45 teams.  All this with what is basically a stock chassis and stock suspension location points.

    • Vanmini

      Bilbo, I think you could retro fit a BMW propeller logo in between the MINI wings.. woudl that make it better for you?

      • Anonymous

        Guess everyone driving a MINI needs to do that… its a BMW/PSA Motor used by MINI. 

    • fishbert

      they did a short comparison of the stock countryman with the dakar countryman during (I think) stage 10 this year.  Basically, the headlights, windscreen, and door handles are stock; everything else is custom for the rally.  Also, good luck taking a stock X3 out there; all of these cars are heavily customized specifically for the rally.

    • Anonymous

      The engine bore/stroke etc is different than the prior X3 CC. Similar block and it is a 6 cylinder diesel. Reasoning is that the Countryman is built in Austria as is the diesel plant for BMW. This engine development is the basis for something coming to BMW Group soon. The engine was never technically used in the X3 either in the configuration that raced. 

      The MINI Prince is currently used in other Motorsport Applications in the Longitudinal orientation (WTCC being one.). It technically is a BMW Group engine BTW as it was developed by BMW and is in use in BMWs, MINI and a wide variety of PSA vehicles can’t really call it anything but a BMW/PSA Group engine at least in current form. The next generation MINI engine will be the BMW .5 cylinder scalable format used across all lines.

  • RB

    They did an incredible job, all MINI teams. 

    I do wish Robby Gordon had won though, he let me down again but gave a good fight most of the contest.

    Some really lame comments about Robby but I guess he said something to offend those MINI folks. He kicked some major butt most of the time and at one point Peterhansel suggested he would win the thing.