Official Release: Stéphane Peterhansel (FR) in his black MINI ALL4 Racing topped the timesheets on stage 9 at the 2014 Dakar Rally. The Monster Energy X-raid Team driver dominated today’s 422km-long stage from Calama to Iquique (both CL) and finished 2:17 minutes in front of his MINI teammate Nasser Al-Attiyah (QT) in the predominantly white MINI ALL4 Racing car.
Today’s route led to the most northerly point of the Dakar, the city of Iquique. The drivers had to tackle the infamous Atacama desert, the driest place on earth. A real challenge for the cars and drivers likewise. Once again, the MINI ALL4 Racing car, which is based on the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, proved its reliability and competitiveness under tough conditions.
“I’m really satisfied with today’s stage,” Stéphane Peterhansel said after crossing the line in Iquique. “The Atacama desert is one of the biggest challenges at the Dakar Rally. It was a trouble free day for us and I’m really confident for the rest of the Dakar Rally. My co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret and the whole team are doing a great job.” Today, Peterhansel led a pack of four MINI ALL4 Racing cars. Joan “Nani” Roma (ES), who is still leading the overall classification in front of Peterhansel, finished in 3rd, Orlando Terranova (AR) was in 4th place.
On Wednesday the drivers will head south from Iquique to Antofagasta. The 631km-long stage 10 will be divided into two parts. The first 231 kilometres will be held on sand and soil. The second, 215km-long part will be characterised by gravel and sand, the so-called “fesh fesh” sand, which is extremely fine. Once again, the drivers have to be really careful not to get stuck with their cars.