|Dakar Rally 2015: X-raid strikes back - Dakar winner Roma extends contract.|
After the bad news with Stéphane Peterhansel (switched to Peugeot) and Nasser Al Attiyah (switched to Toyota): Good news for the Monster Energy X-raid Team and bad news for its opponents: The pairing that won the 2014 Dakar – Catalan Nani Roma and his French co-driver Michel Périn – also will contest the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Dakar for the German team, as the long-term cooperation will be continued for – at least – another two years.
This means that the team now can fully focus on the title-defence campaign, with Roma and Périn being heavily involved in the testing and the preparations for the coming Dakar.
Joan "Nani" Roma began his Dakar career on the motorbike and won the event’s motorbike ranking in 2004 to switch to four wheels, afterwards. In 2009, the Catalan joined the team and contested the 2010 Dakar together with Périn. In the following year he raced a Nissan but returned to X-raid, after the Dakar. In 2014, he celebrated his next major success: 10 years after his first Dakar triumph, the 42-year old wins the Dakar once again – at the wheel of a Mini All4 Racing.
Now he is one of just three drivers who succeeded in winning the Dakar on two and four wheels. In addition to pursuing his motor-racing career, Roma also is involved in charity activities: his foundation "La Fundación Nani Roma" takes care of the rehabilitation of handicapped people by sports. A few weeks ago, he was decorated for these activities by the Danish embassy in Spain.
Michel Périn is – without any doubt – one of the best navigators in today’s off-road rally sport. He is well known for his extensive and painstaking preparations for a rally and – in particular – of the road book.
The Frenchman already has got four Dakar triumphs under his belt – and numerous other rally wins. Just like Roma, he also joined X-raid in 2009 – and remained a member of the German team since then. He contested the 2010 Dakar together with Roma and in the following year, the Dakar debut appearance of the Mini, he was teamed-up with his compatriot Guerlain Chicherit. In 2012 he and Roma were reunited and in 2014, they won the Dakar.
"I’m really delighted about the fact that we will keep on cooperating with Nani and Michel, in the coming two years," said Team Manager Sven Quandt. "They delivered in fantastic style in this year’s Dakar, in January.
But the pairing is not only extremely competitive in the rallies. At the same time, they also massively support the team when it comes to enhancing the Mini All4 Racing. With the Toyotas and the Peugeots in the field, the coming Dakar certainly will be anything but easy but with our experience, we should have good chances, nevertheless."
"The past months were unique," says Nani Roma. "The Dakar with my first win on four wheels and afterwards, all the public interest – not only in Spain but all over the world. By extending our deal we made a vital step on the way to the 2015 Dakar Rally. I’m delighted with continuing the cooperation with X-raid. The past Dakars demonstrated that beating the MINI is anything but easy.“
"I have been racing for the X-raid Team for five years now and am looking forward to the next two years of this partnership,"says Michel Périn. "In January, Nani and I finally succeeded in winning the Dakar, thus giving the Monster Energy X-raid Team their third consecutive Dakar win."
"Nonetheless, the coming Dakars won’t be easier. But due to our long-term cooperation we know each other very well. Now we can continue our joint efforts for the coming two years to hopefully be as successful as we were in the past."
2014/06/25 | 17:30 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/QUANDT