Last year MINI shocked the motorsports world by not just winning, but dominating Dakar. With the 2013 Dakar Rally coming up in January, MINI ALL4 Racing and X-raid want to defend that title. Using Rally Morocco as a warm up, things are looking good.

[Official Release] Project Title Defence is in full swing: In its final desert race before the Rallye Dakar the X-raid Team impresses with speed and consistency in Morocco.

MINI is ready for its title defence of the Rallye Dakar. Over the past weeks the X-raid Team participated in the Rally Morocco with two MINI ALL4 Racing [cars] with a view to completing a final major test under desert conditions ahead of contesting the “Mother of all Desert Rallies” which starts on 5 January 2013: The Rallye Dakar.

After over 2000 timed kilometres Leonid Novitskiy and his co-driver Oleg Tyupenkin celebrated not only second place in Morocco, but also a successful comeback: During the rally Oleg occupied the co-driver seat for the first time since suffering a serious accident on the Rallye Tunisia three years ago. “Big congratulations are due to Leonid and Oleg. The pair have not driven together for three years – and as such delivered a very good performance,” commented X-raid team principal chef Sven Quandt afterwards.

Victory was close
For Krzysztof Holowczyc and Filipe Palmeiro in the second MINI ALL4 Racing, three individual day victories should have sufficed for overall victory, with only a transmission issue on the fifth stage demoting the Polish/Portuguese duo. “With three day wins under his belt Krzysztof obviously proved himself,” said Quant. “We need to analyse the issue to ensure it is does not re-occur on the Dakar.

Thus this tough test in the desert proved doubly valuable for the X-raid Team, for the Rallye Morocco not only proved beyond doubt that the MINI ALL4 Racing has the required performance, but also which screws the X-raid Team still needs to tighten in order to successfully mount Project Title Defence on the Rallye Dakar.