|Dakar Rally 2014: X-raid maybe biggest team at Dakar with more than...|
Just some weeks to go until the defending Dakar champions, Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret, will cross the start podium in Argentina with their X-raid Mini All4 Racing. With months of planning and preparations being completed, things will get serious for the Monster Energy X-raid Team, on 04th January.
Officially X-raid announced four Mini All4 Racing for the Dakar Rally... but rumours (and members of the team) told us some more during the "Baja Portalegre" in Portugal: X-raid maybe will be the biggest team at the Dakar Rally! We are speaking about 10-15 cars, including new and used Mini All4 Racing, former BMW X3 CC and BMW X5 CC, officially and inofficially used (see also our report about Russian Vladimir Vasilyev).
"This will be a mammoth job for our team" a member of the team reported in Portugal. "Actually we are in full business, building the cars, forming the team, organizing new trucks. We can talk about nearly 10 cars or more operated by X-raid, plus some privateers we don´t know and doing their own service."
Also the Chinese "Great Wall" team will be back with the "Hoover SUV" which is nothing else than a covered BMW X3CC - but "out of the hands" of the German team. Great Wall reported to start with own cars, but this maybe will be postponed to 2015... Their cars were operated by the French SMG Gache team in 2013.
Officially, in addition to Peterhansel and Cottret, the pairings Nani Roma / Michel Périn and Krzysztof Holowczyc / Konstantin Zhiltsov also are going to once again represent the X-raid Team colours. While Argentinean Orlando Terranova and his co-driver Paulo Fiúza are a new addition to the team’s line-up.
With 11 Dakar wins under his belt, Peterhansel definitely is one of the top favourites for the coming Dakar. In the past two editions of the legendary desert rally, the Frenchman and his Mini proved to be a class of their own. With consistency and reliability, they defeated the competition. But the fans will have to accustom to a new colour scheme: Peterhansel will race a black Mini, in 2014.
For Holowczyc, the 2013 season ended last weekend on a high: With the title triumph in the "FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup". Courtesy of him and his German co-driver Andreas Schulz, Team X-Raid celebrated its sixth consecutive World Cup title. In the 2013 Dakar he made for a major moment of shock when suffering back injuries due to an accident. But Holowczyc recovered quickly and was back behind the wheel of his Mini as early as in March. He will contest the 2014 Dakar with a red Mini.
Nani Roma enjoyed a true wave of success, this year: four events contested – four wins secured! Consequently, he is going to travel to South America for the 2014 Dakar with massively boosted confidence in himself and his Mini.
Terranova already contested the 2013 Dakar with a Mini All4 Racing entered by the X-raid Team and became the first South American ever to have secured a car-category special stage win. He will race the orange Mini he already won the Morocco Rally, with.
In addition, the Team is delighted with having the opportunity to announce the partnership with Akrapovic. The Mini will contest the 2014 Dakar with a new exhaust system that was designed together with the Slovenian company.
X-raid Team Manager Sven Quandt: "I’m looking forward to once again contesting the Dakar with such a competitive line up. In the past months, we worked hard on the Mini All4 Racing and I’m convinced that our four drivers will make maximum use of the car’s potential. We already have set the course for the years to come and extended the contract with Stéphane so that he is going to start also at the 2015 Dakar for X-raid."
Stéphane Peterhansel: “This year, the regulations once again won’t make it easy for us to prevail against the fast buggies. But as it was the case in the past years, we just will have to deliver on a consistent level and without encountering any problems. Then, we will have a good chance of making it once again.”
Nani Roma: “The past season was really sensational. We could win every event we contested and did so on different terrain. The Mini never let us down and worked reliably all the time. Should we continue this way in the Dakar we will be able to become a factor in the battle for the win.”
Krzysztof Holowczyc: “To be forced into retirement due to an injury in the 2013 Dakar after just a few days was really bitter! But I just refused to let this incident drag me down and was back in the Mini as fast as possible. And just a few months later, we won the World Cup title – achieving more is virtually impossible. Therefore, I also am going to race the coming Dakar with a good feeling. In addition, I am also really happy that my Mini is red, now. Together with its white roof it now really comes close to the colour scheme of the Polish flag.”
Orlando Terranova: “It’s a new challenge to now race the Dakar for the X-raid Team. But I think that I demonstrated with my special-stage win and by coming fifth in the overall rankings of the 2013 Dakar that I’m able to drive fast and consitent. Now I just can’t wait for January when the Dakar will start in my home country Argentina.”
Uroš Rosa, CEO Akrapovic d.d.: “We are very pleased and excited to team-up with X-raid in its endeavours to succeed in which is probably regarded as one of the most demanding and challenging motorsport race series globally – the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup and the Rally Dakar. Entering the rally sport also means for Akrapovic crafting an entire new, innovative and tailored exhaust system, meeting and surpassing the incredibly high demands of rallying in the most difficult conditions – both for the crew and their material.”
2013/11/08 | 12:51 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS