LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 02/18/13 -- The new racing year got off to a storming start with the famous Dakar Rally seeing reigning French champions Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret clinching the title once again in their MINI 4X4 model. The pair finished 42 minutes ahead of their nearest rivals and for Petershansel, the second victory in this MINI ALL4 Racing was the 11th of his career in the Dakar Rally - which constitutes a new record.
Since 1978 the Dakar Rally has been pushing both man and machine to the very limits of their capabilities. The most fascinating rally event on the international motorsport calendar, The Dakar Rally invites courageous drivers, motorcyclists and quad riders to test their skills as they try to make their way through tough desert terrain in this most infamous endurance rally.
Competitors who wish to brave this unique challenge must complete up to 800 kilometres per day - during which the organisers only allow the drivers to rest for one day. It's no wonder then that more than 50% of entrants retire from the Dakar Rally each year without reaching the finish line. More than just a simple question of racing and speed, the Dakar Rally requires exceptional navigational skills, consistency and endurance - the slightest mistake can cost the race.
As in 2012, the X Raid Team racing team was once again the dominant force. After just two stages Peterhansel was leading overall classifications and from that point successfully defended his lead all the way to the finish. The chasing pack included the pairing of Leonid Novitskiy and Konstantin Zhiltsov in another MINI ALL4 Racing who finished the Dakar Rally 2013 in third place.
"The victory of the MINI ALL4 Racing last year was without doubt a surprise for many people," said Dr Kay Segler, Senior Vice President MINI Brand Management: "but now it is clear to everyone that this was no fluke." Indeed, for the pair to finish first over a distance of over 5,300 miles and through some of the most challenging terrain is testament not only to their driving talent but the unique performance of the MINI ALL4 Racing.
The good news is you don't have to endure a nerve-wracking, two-week marathon to experience the unlimited capabilities of the 4x4 MINI family! For a stylish car that defies convention and combines expert handling with outstanding fuel economy, MINI has long been known as a dynamic performer on any terrain. You can be sure of some great MINI offers, as finance-packages">car finance is available on all MINI Countrymans.
To stay ahead of the chasing pack and find out more about MINI's range for 2013, why not visit www.mini.co.uk?
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