Despite not taking place in Africa anymore but in South America, the Dakar Rally remains a very tough race. To finish is in itself a unique experience but to win is a truly great achievement.
Imagine now how Stephane Peterhansel must have felt on January 15, after 38 hours, 44 minutes and 56 seconds and 4,000 competitive kilometers from Argentina’s Mar del Plata to Peru’s capital Lima.
Not only did he win what is probably the most demanding off-road endurance rally in the world but he also did it for a record 10th time, having won six times riding a motorbike and four driving a car.
This year, the Frenchman accomplished the win behind the wheel of a Mini ALL4 Racing. It is a rally-raid version of the Countryman built by X-Raid and powered by a 315HP 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged straight-six diesel sourced from BMW.
Peterhansel was, naturally, exuberant: “I’ve been waiting for five years to win again. To take the victory in South America is a huge relief; it ranks among my best triumphs.”
The winner, who faced tough competition from Robbie Gordon and his Hummer, finished 43 minutes ahead of Nani Roma, who also drove a Mini ALL4 Racing, making it a one-two for the team.
X-Raid and Mini had entered a total of five cars for this year’s Dakar and all of them finished the grueling race - impressively in the top 10.