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He's done it! Joan 'Nani' Roma has won the Dakar Rally! The Spaniard crossed the finishing line in the MINI ALL4 Racing in Valparaíso on Chile's Pacific coast as overall champion. This was his second victory in the toughest long-distance rally on the planet, but his first on four wheels. In 2004 Nani won the event riding a motorcycle.
"It is truly and utterly crazy, I can hardly believe it!", Nani Roma exclaimed at the finishing line beaming with joy. "I have to thank all the members of my X-raid team, but most of all my co-driver Michel Périn, who has done an extraordinary job of navigating me through the Dakar over the last 13 days. I was able to depend on the reliability of my MINI ALL4 Racing car throughout, even though conditions at this year's Dakar have been unbelievably tough. The whole package has just been spot-on and has made all the difference."
Tough, tougher, Dakar: 'Nani' Roma and co. have had to put up with a lot on the 9,374-kilometer-long route from Rosario in Argentina to Valparaíso. It has taken the drivers across many diverse landscapes and the terrain was very demanding in places. From rough gravel to very fine, deep sand, almost everything was in the mix.
Competitors drove over narrow mountain roads at altitudes up to 4,000 metres in the Andes. In Chile's famous Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth, temperatures were like those inside an oven. In the treacherous desert sands, many competitors fell by the wayside.
"Congratulations to Nani and Michel, a really impressive victory!", X-raid Team Principal Sven Quandt rejoiced. "The whole team has achieved so much in these almost two weeks. The Dakar Rally provides another great logistical challenge time and again. Nani and Michel have navigated their MINI very skilfully and considered through the stages. During this time the MINI ALL4 Racing has run reliably as ever, a particularly important attribute at this merciless rally."
For MINI and X-raid the overall results in South America could hardly make for better reading. This was the third victory for a MINI ALL4 Racing car from the X-raid team in four years since their debut in 2011. A great reason to celebrate! The victory party will take place in the evening in quite relaxed MINI style with a barbecue on the beach of Santiago de Chile.
To discover the MINI Countryman click here.
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