MINI Motorsport is taking on the notorious Dakar Rally with the new John Cooper Works Rally car and partners X-raid in an attempt to push the boundaries.
In an attempt to bring home MINI’s fifth Dakar title, a group of experienced rally crews have been brought together to do just that, with a few having some valuable Dakar experience to help guide the team towards the top of the rostrum. Three of the cars will be labelled as X-raid teams, while the other five crews will drive under the MINI ALL4 team name.
Mikko Hirvonen and Michel Périn will pair up again for the second year in a row, as the Finnish driver takes on his second Dakar. Following a lengthy career in the WRC, Hirvonen will be joined by his experienced crewman, a year after he won the Best Rookie title by finishing fourth overall.
Joining Hirvonen and Périn at X-raid is the American duo of Bryce Menzies and Peter Mortensen, who are both taking part in their first Dakar, and the pairing of Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk, who first took part in the continental rally in 2015. For the MINI ALL4 team, Orlando Terranova is paired with co-driver Andreas Schulz, Jakub Przygonski is teamed with Tom Colsoul, Chile’s Boris Garafulic is joined by Filipe Pameiro, Mohammed Abu Issa will have French co-pilot Xavier Panseri for company, and German driver Stephan Schott is also competing in the next Dakar, with his co-driver yet to be announced.
The 2017 edition of the Dakar Rally takes places in Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil and takes place from January 2nd to 14th 2017.