MINI ALL4 Racing In Preparations for Dakar
Official Release: Having dominated the 2012 Dakar, it now comes face to face with its biggest challenge once again: to master the toughest rally in the world.
When the 2013 Dakar Rally gets underway on 5th January, Nani Roma will be making his 15th appearance at the toughest rally in the world, making him one of the most experienced drivers in the field. The Spaniard’s biggest success at the Dakar to date came in 2004, when he won the motorcycle class. One year later he switched to cars and immediately finished sixth at the first attempt.
In 2012, Nani lined up in a MINI ALL4 Racing for the X-raid Team, finishing runner-up behind team-mate Stéphane Peterhansel – his best Dakar result so far on four wheels. In an interview, the 40-year-old talks about his preparations, changes to technical regulations, his goals, and the unique challenges posed by the 35th Dakar.
Question: Your first appearance in a MINI ALL4 Racing for the X-raid Team since the 2012 Dakar came at the Desafio Litoral in July, when you finished runner-up. What did you get up to between the end of the 2012 Dakar and then?
Nani Roma: In February I was involved in testing the car in Dubai, in order to be prepared in good time for the modifications to the technical regulations for the 2013 Dakar. After that I drove in the Spanish Rally Championship. After my success at the last Dakar, I also had a number of international PR appointments. Then came the Desafio Litoral, which, at about 1,600 kilometres in length, was another good test with the new engine. I only finished second, but it was good to be able to check out different technical set-ups on the car.
Question: The International Automobile Federation (FIA) has changed the technical regulations for the 2013 Dakar. One of the effects of the changes is that petrol cars are now more powerful than diesel cars. What do you make of the changes?
Nani: This Dakar will certainly be different to the last one, but the engine in the MINI ALL4 Racing is reliable and powerful. Our team has completed more test kilometres with the MINI ALL4 Racing than ever before. We know what the MINI is capable of. When it comes down to it, the changes the FIA has made to the technical regulations are aimed at ensuring an even competition, which makes it more exciting.
Question: The route of the 2013 Dakar is in the opposite direction to last year. There are also a number of new stages. What is your opinion of the route?
Nani: The Dakar is always unpredictable. This time the opening days will be very tough, as we head straight into the Peruvian dune stages around Pisco, Nasca and Arequipa. Then we have a few stages that were on the rally last year, but there are always changes to the route, meaning you can never count on anything at the Dakar. You must always remain fully focussed and prepare for every stage as though you are driving it for the first time. It only takes one mistake to bring your Dakar to an end.
Question: You finished runner-up at the Dakar in 2012. What is your goal for 2013?
Nani: I won the Dakar in 2004 and would obviously like to win it again in a car. However, the Dakar is long and unpredictable. As such, my first goal is to get off to a good, concentrated start and avoid mistakes. If you can manage that, you put yourself in a good position for the rest of the race. Then you just have to prepare one stage at a time and try to maintain your position. Obviously everyone wants to win, but there is no point in thinking about the finish at the start of the race. Too much can happen over the course of the race.
You can also find more information on the Dakar Rally (5th-20th January 2013) and the X-raid Team’s outing with the MINI ALL4 Racing at Facebook.com/MINImotorsport and Twitter.com/MINImotorsport.
Written By: Gabe
Sort by MINI model
- The MINI Clubman Concept in Video
- The MINI Clubman Concept Live from Geneva
- Official: MINI DesignworksUSA Designs One Cool Room for Sweden’s ICEHOTEL
- MINI USA Sales Down 43% in January With Transition from R56 to F56
- Dakar-winning Team MINI Visits Jay Leno’s Garage
- Help Design MotoringFile’s 2014 F56 MINI
- MINI at the Geneva Motor Show
- World Debut: MINI Clubman Concept
- Spied: New MINI F55 5-door Caught Doors Open
- Innovations Days: An Early Look at BMW & MINI’s Next Generation Technology
MotoringFile on Instagram
- Video: EVO Pits the M135i vs. Audi S3
- BMW Innovation Days Video Recap
- World Debut: BMW X4 (with Pricing & Gallery)
- BMWNA Announced US Availability of the Alpina B6 Gran Coupe
- BMW Testing the M2 & X4 M40i with N55 Six Cylinder
- The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Live from Geneva
- BMWNA Sales Up 3.3% for February
- Want to Test Drive the i3? Here’s Your Chance.
- Debut: BMW M4 DTM
- The X4 Is Coming March 6th
- Kickstart This: Sit Stay Ride — The Story of America’s Sidecar Dogs
- The Stella 125 Automatic: We Want Your Questions
- Video: The Yellow Vespa Menace
- The Ruckus (and Grom) Shenanigans of Greg Hatcher and MNNTHBX
- This Week in Scooters: Feb 23 – March 1
- The Slaughterhouse, a Custom Genuine Roughhouse 50
- Gallery: The C50 Mini-Bobber by Lê Thanh Bình
- A LEGO Vespa, Yours For Just $22,000
- The Reaper, a Custom Buddy 170i
- Honda Grows the Integra to 750cc for 2014
MINI Model Cheat Sheet
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F55: Five Door Hatch
F60: MINI Crossover
Advertise with MotoringFile
MotoringFile Buyers GuidesR50 ('02-'06 MC) Buyers Guide
R53 ('02-'06 MCS) Buyers Guide
'12 JCW Coupe
'11 Fiat 500 Sport
'11 Tesla Roaster 2.5 '11 Countryman Comparo
'11 Cooper S Hatch
'11 Countryman MCS (FWD)
'11 Countryman MC (auto)
'10 Mayfair MCS (auto)
'11 Countryman MCS (ALL4)
'10 MINI E
'10 Tesla Roadster Sport
'09 Cooper S Convertible
'09 JCW Hatch
'09 JCW Clubman
JCW Stage I vs JCW Stage II
'08 Clubman S (Auto)
1st Drive: '08 MINI Clubman
'08 Smart Fourtwo
Comparison: '08 BMW 135i
'06 R53 MCS vs '07 R56 MCS
'07 R56 JCW (Stage 1)
'07 MINI Cooper S Long Term
'07 BMW Z4 M Coupe
'07 MINI Cooper & Cooper S
Audio: '07 MC/MCS at the Track
'06 JCW GP Long term
Reader Review: JCW GP
'06 JCW Cooper S Long Term
Comparison: '06 Lotus Elise
Comparison: '06 Mazda MX5
Comparison: '06 UK Focus ST
Comparison: '06 Civic Si
Comparison: '04 TVR T350
Comparison: '06 Nissan 350z
Comparison: '06 VW GTI w/DSG
Podcast: Cooper S Auto
Podcast: BMW 325i
Podcast: JCW MC Soundkit
'04 JCW MINI Cooper Tuning Kit
'05 MCS: One Month Review
'05 MCS Auto
'05 JCW S 1st Drive
'05 MINI Cooper
'05 MCS Conv. Long Term
'05 MINI Cooper S
'05 MCS Cabrio 1st Drive
'04 JCW MCS First Drive
'04 MC w/JCW Tuning Kit
BMW M3 SMG Vs. MCS
'04 MINI Cooper CVT
'02 MCS 3 year Review
Autocrossing the MINI Range