Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel took first place in the 2012 Dakar Rally behind the wheel of his MINI ALL4 Racing, earning the car and the Monster Energy X-Raid Team their first ever victory at Dakar.
The win was made more impressive by the fact that each MINI ALL4 Racing that competed finished in the top ten at the event, a remarkable feat considering the grueling nature of an endurance race like The Dakar. It is very common for vehicles to breakdown, leaving them unable to cross the finish line. As Peterhansel acknowledged, “With the MINI ALL4 Racing, we designed a competitive and reliable car. I want to thank the entire team for its hard work and support, both prior to and during the event.”
Monster Energy X-Raid Team Manager Sven Quandt was equal parts elated and impressed: “We finally have achieved our long-awaited goal – our first win in the Dakar Rally. In this year’s Dakar, the MINI ALL4 Racing clearly demonstrated its outstanding potential and reliability.”
The MINI ALL4 Racing proved itself a remarkable vehicle, but the vehicle should not overshadow its pilot, Stéphane Peterhansel, whose poise under pressure helped secure the win. Afterall, it may have been MINI’s first win at the Dakar, but it was Stéphane’s 10th victory in a series of Dakar triumphs which also include 6 victories on motorbikes.
The Dakar Rally is viewed as the ultimate off-road motorsport competition, pitting the world’s best racers and racing teams against the harshest of environments. Spanning 5,205 miles from beginning to end, the 2012 Dakar Rally began in Mar de Plata, Argentina and traveled northwest, to the finish line in Lima, Peru. In 2009, the Dakar was moved from Africa to South America. The first Dakar Rally took place in 1979.
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