|SA-Dakar 2011: X-raid BMW to cooperate with Monster Energy - Terranova.|
Monster Energy and the BMW X-raid Team have joined forces to create the "Monster Energy X-raid Team", which will tackle the 3rd edition of the South America Dakar Argentina-Chile. The German team, based in Trebur (near Frankfurt) will field seven cars in the world’s most famous off-road rally, with Monster Energy supporting three of the teams.
Stéphane Peterhansel is the most successful driver in the history of the Dakar Rally. He won the race six times on a motorcycle, before switching to racing on four-wheels in 1999. Partnered by Jean-Paul Cottret, Peterhansel claimed three victories in the Dakar on four wheels and finished fourth overall with the X-raid Team on the 2010 Dakar in South America - his first Dakar with the German team.
The Frenchman has also achieved numerous wins in rounds of the FIA Cross Country World Cup, is a two-time World Enduro champion and took part in the Race of Champions in 2005 and 2006. He joined the X-raid team for Baja Spain 2009 and won the recent Rally of Morocco.
Jean-Paul Cottret switched to co-driving in 1992 and finished second with Peterhansel on the Dakar in 2000. He has won the gruelling event with Peterhansel on three occasions (2004, 2005 and 2007) and has also been successful in numerous smaller Bajas and FIA World Cup rallies.
The Portuguese Ricardo Leal Dos Santos and co-driver Fiùza drive a second Monster Energy-backed BMW X3CC. Dos Santos switched from riding a quad on the Dakar to racing in a car and will take part in his first marathon challenge with X-raid. He finished 14th overall and first privateer in the 2010 Dakar and completed the recent Rally of Morocco with the X-raid team in seventh place.
French Guerlain Chicherit and experienced co-driver Michel Périn crew the third Monster Energy-backed car. Chicherit finished fifth overall in this year’s Dakar Rally, which he tackled as the defending FIA World Cup champion.
The former Extreme Skiing World Champion has been driving for the X-raid team since the 2006 Dakar Rally. He won the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and Transiberico, was ninth in the 2009 Dakar Rally and claimed the prestigious FIA World Cup for X-raid the same year.
Périn was a three-time winner of the Dakar with Frenchman Pierre Lartigue and is one of the most experienced co-drivers in the FIA cross-country rallying discipline. His first victory with the X-raid team came at the Baja Spain 2009 and he was leading the 2009 Dakar Rally with a rival team for several days.
“We are obviously delighted to announce Monster Energy as a key sponsor of the X-raid team,” said a delighted Sven Quandt. “We now have our largest ever Dakar team with seven cars and we are confident that we have strength in depth and experience across the team spectrum.”
X-raid team director Sven Quandt has also confirmed that Argentina’s Orlando Terranova has joined the BMW X-raid team to drive a seventh car alongside the French duo of Stéphane Peterhansel and Guerlain Chicherit, Portugal’s Ricardo Leal Dos Santos, Russia’s Leonid Novitskiy, Poland’s Krzysztof Holowczyc and Germany’s Stephane Schott.
The seven drivers will be co-driven by Portugal’s Filipe Palmeiro, the French duo of Jean-Paul Cottret and Michel Périn, Portugal’s Paulo Fiúza, Germany’s Andreas Schulz, Belgian Jean-Marc Fortin and German Holm Schmidt, respectively.
Terranova, from Mendoza in Argentina, represented the BMW X-raid Team in the 2009 Dakar Rally and was running inside the top 10 before leaving the road and damaging his car in a deep ravine. He was the first Latin American driver to win a round of the FIA World Cup, when he claimed victory in the 2009 Rally of Tunisia.
Palmeiro co-drove Terranova to that Tunisian success in a BMW X3CC and is one of the most experienced Portuguese cross-country participants. He has also worked in the X-raid team with Brazil’s Paulo Nobre and Dutchman René Kuipers in the 2009 Dakar. Last season he co-drove for the Brazilian privateer Guilherme Spinelli and is a regular competitor in the Portuguese Off-Road Championship.
The team recently took part in a five-day test near Zagora before the Rally of Morocco and select team members have just returned from a five-day fitness-training schedule at Tignes in France’s northern Alps.
They used a bivouac for one night and stayed in a chalet next to Lake Tignes at 2,000 metres above sea level for the remaining nights. Team members took part in hiking and running and attended a wellness centre, before walking in snow shoes from 2,100 metres above sea level to the glacier restaurant at over 3,000 metres. “It was a useful way of improving fitness, team bonding and communication between crew members,” added Quandt.
2010/11/24 | 01:12 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS