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Headline: Tina Thörner to navigate Jutta Kleinschmidt

BMW X-raid has finalised its team with the signing of Tina Thörner. The experienced co-pilot, who navigated South African Giniel De Villiers to second overall in the Dakar Rally in January, will share the cockpit of a BMW X3CC with Jutta Kleinschmidt in future. The all female team will debut at the Pharaoh’s Rally from the 1st to the 8th of October in Egypt. Thereafter they will take part in the 2007 Dakar Rally (6th - 21st January 2007).

Kleinschmidt’s and Thörner’s team mates will be the young Frenchmen Guerlain Chicherit and co-pilot Matthieu Baumel and last but not least the present leader of the Production World Rally Championship (PWRC) Qatari, Nasser Al-Attiayh and his French co-pilot Alain Guehennec.

Jutta Kleinschmidt and Tina Thörner are the most successful all female pairing in the Dakar Rally. From the very first time they took part in Dakar competition together in 1999 where they came third, to the following year they came home in fifth place. In 2001 Jutta Kleischmidt became the first lady to win the Dakar co-driver by Andreas Schultz.

However Thörner was no less successful, in the Rally World Championship. Amongst other things she led Citroën factory driver Thomas Radström to second place overall in the Rally of Swede. In 2003 the long-time companion of DTM pilot Mattias Ekström again took part in the greatest desert classic alongside former Rally World Champion, multiple Dakar winner and rallying legend Ari Vatanen. In the following Dakar she co-piloted Colin McRae, another Rally World Champion, an in 2005 she finished second with Giniel De Villiers in the Morocco Rally. In January 2006 De Villiers and Thörner second overall on the Dakar.

The Swede, who was born in Säffle on the 24th of February 1966, gets exercise with golf and jetsking and with her beloved Jack Russells Moss and Lou. When she is not sitting in the hot seat, she lives on Lake Constance in the Salenstein area of Switzerland, Tina also works for Swedish television and pursues her other successful projects as power yoga instructor and health and anti stress coach.

X-raid team owner Sven Quandt is delighted to have reunited the women’s team: "We could have nothing better. Jutta and Tina together again in a car are ideal. Both are professional, know their work and complement each other wonderfully. Jutta confirmed herself as a world class driver in her first test drives and brought her many years of off road know how to bear, particularly when developing the BMW X3CC vehicle. I am sure that Tina will find her way around her new workplace just as quickly. Her first joint competition is at the Pharaoh’s Rally, and then there is a good three months preparation on the way to Dakar. Everyone in the team is highly concentrated; our preparations are going to plan. This is also shown by the fact that X-raid has its full complement as the first of the main teams to announce their 2007 Dakar team."

X-raid has also strengthened its management team with the addition of Marco Pastorino. The Italian has taken part in over 200 events with about 90 different drivers - including Rally World Champions Tommi Mäkinen and Didier Auriol - in 30 different countries as team manager, most recently with the Mitsubishi factory team in WRC.

Another stroke of luck for X-raid team owner Sven Quandt: "Marco suits us perfectly. He knows the workings of a professional rally team like no other. He is also just as hungry for success as everyone in our team. After the current tests and the competition in Egypt the 40 year old Pastorino will be responsible for the X-raid X5CC team, which will run the ever reliable BMW X5CC for Jose Luis Monterde and Paulo Nobre, in the Pharoans Rally and at the 2007 Dakar Rally."

2006/09/04 | 15:08 CET | Editor: MR/X-Raid

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