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Two different JCW drive concepts, the all-wheel drive on the MINI John Cooper Works Rally and rear-wheel drive on the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy, will be used for the first time in the world’s most demanding long-distance rally - Edition 40 of the Dakar Rally in Lima/Peru on 6 Jan 2018.
MINI and the X-raid Team have launched into the final preparation phase for the Dakar Rally 2018 with the presentation of their current racing cars. For the first time MINI and X-raid will face the challenges of the most demanding long-distance rally in the world using two different types of drive. In addition to the further advanced version of the all-wheel drive MINI John Cooper Works Rally, which, at its debut appearance, came in sixth overall at the 2017 Dakar Rally, the rear-wheel drive MINI John Cooper Works Buggy will head into the opener stage on 6 January 2018 in the Peruvian capital of Lima.
The reason why a second vehicle concept was developed lies in the specifics of the Dakar Rally rules, which, in their current form, give two-wheel drive cars certain advantages. X-raid Team Manager Sven Quandt gave the go-ahead for building the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy in February 2017. “This has been the biggest project in our company’s history so far and we have worked extremely hard at it”, he said at the vehicle presentation. The new MINI John Cooper Works Buggy has already undergone an intensive test programme over the past months which took it over different types of rally terrain for example in Hungary and Morocco.
The MINI and X-raid range for the Dakar Rally 2018 will comprise of seven cars and an experienced team of drivers and co-pilots. The three MINI John Cooper Works Buggies will be piloted by Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Bryce Menzies (USA) and Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA). The driver seats in the MINI John Cooper Works Rally will be occupied by Orlando Terranova (ARG), Jakub Przygonski (POL), Joan “Nani” Roma (ESP) and Boris Garafulic (CHI).
With this driver line-up and the crew of experienced organisers and technical and medical specialists, the X-raid Team will be perfectly equipped for the endurance ordeal awaiting man and machine at the 40th edition of the Dakar Rally. The anniversary edition of the long-distance rally, which is taking place in South America for the tenth time, will take the rally participants from Peru to Argentina via Bolivia.
The 2018 Dakar Rally incorporates extended desert stages as well as rock and boulder fields and asphalt tracks which take the cars up to an altitude of 4000 meters in the Andes. The final stage will be completed on 20 January 2018 in Córdoba, Argentina.
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