As MINI Closes in on a Dakar Podium Sweep, Controversy Arises

For days now the lead MINI X-Raid driver Stephane Peterhansel has been battling back from earlier issues and spectacularly making up time. But with that speed comes risk and while Peterhansel had gotten within two minutes of the lead MINI (driven by Nani Roma) the team asked him to slow down and not take any undue chances. To be more specific, it appears that MINI Motorsports has made the request. Read on for the details.

Here’s a bit more via Autosport:

“The game is over,” he said. “We’ve had a good laugh and enjoyed ourselves. “Yesterday evening, the team asked us to not take any more risks.

“It’s a bit frustrating because we’ve done most of the hard work. “But, if MINI wants to have three cars on the podium, at the speed at which we are driving out in front, it’s easy to crash a car or even two in just one day.”We know that this can happen, but I didn’t think that they would do it.”

Asking any racing driver to essentially “slow down” is always controversial. Rumors are swirling about other drama between Peterhansel and MINI Motorsports, but for now what we do know is that MINI is being very strategic in how its guiding its racing teams.

  • r.burns

    The Sport, and Mister Dakar (Perhansel), must bow to the commercial interests

  • VanMINI

    “…. and in the Hummer camp, GM executives politely tell Robbie Gordon to STOP LETTING THE GIRL’S CARS BEAT YOU”… . there were no blog updates about the contrversy of this statement.

  • EHans

    I guess the question is, who are the drivers racing for first and foremost? Themselves/the Team, or MINI? If the latter, than this is part of the deal.

  • Paul Guess

    My wife and I own a Mini… for three years we have watched every minute of Dakar. We will not watch any more. This is not racing… it is Corporate BS