Every year the incredibly brutal Dakar Rally puts man and machine through 13 gruelling stages of off road and desert driving. Often proving the ultimate undertaking for any vehicle, MINI have managed to dominate throughout the 2015 Rally – winning 10 of 11 stages. With only two legs left of the gruelling 2015 Dakar Rally, MINI have managed yet another one-two win.
On Thursday the Dakar headed back to Argentina for stage 11. The course, which ran from Salta in Chile to Termas Rio Hondo, saw drivers tackling a 194km high-speed stage. Despite the perks of a short stage, drivers were challenged by high speeds on gravel roads that were often lined with trees.
Driven by Nassar Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel, MINI ALL4 #301 managed to take yet another first place finish; this makes #301's total wins 5 so far this year. The strong finish sees Nassar and Mathieu add an extra 39 seconds to their lead in the overall classification and creates a total of 29:01 minutes between them and the second place sitters - De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz. Speaking of the event Al-Attiyah commented:
“There are another two days to go and we have to survive these days. We didn't take any unnecessary risks today but we found a good rhythm and that's crucial in stages such as today's."
Following 27 seconds behind the stage winners, Orlando Terranova and Bernardo Graue managed to secure second place - clinching the second one-two finish in a row for the MINI ALL4. After the stage Orlando commented on the stage and highlighted why the terrain tested the drivers:
“It was a beautiful but also really fast track, resembling a rally special stage. In some sections it was slippery and muddy and you had to be really careful. Therefore, we didn't push to the max."
This year's Dakar Rally sees a total of five MINI ALL4's competing – all of which are within the top 10. The results heading into the final stages of the punishing rally are a true testament to both the MINI ALL4 and the drivers. The penultimate stage from Termas Rio Hondo to Rosario will take place at the end of the week with the MINI drivers hoping for yet another one-two.