MINI and its motorsport partner X-raid are pleased to reveal eight crews to participate in the 2017 Dakar Rally at the controls of MINI rally cars.

Often described as the “mother of all rally races” the Dakar Rally is, without doubt, the most arduous and demanding automotive race in the world of motorsport. Participation in the Dakar Rally involves months of planning by the teams, the very best of drivers, co-drivers and support crews and, of course, their weapons of choice – with the MINI ALL4 Racing it is a proven, reliable performer that has claimed four consecutive Dakar wins (2012-2015) and four consecutive FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup titles (2012-2015). Lady luck, experience and respect for the terrain the competitors will cover are also major players on the final outcome of this two-week off-road racing spectacle.

MINI and its motorsport partner X-raid are pleased to reveal eight crews to participate in the 2017 Dakar Rally at the controls of MINI rally cars. Three of these crews will compete under the banner of X-raid Team.

Spearheading the X-raid assault to gain MINI its fifth Dakar title are three crews made up of varying Dakar experience but all with excellent rallying pedigrees.

Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), former WRC specialist contested his first Dakar in 2016 and took a stage win plus numerous top five in-stage finishes on his way to a remarkable fourth place result to earn him the title of Best Rookie. The experienced Michel Périn (FRA) was Hirvonen’s co-pilot for last year’s Dakar and the 2017 Dakar will see a repeat of this connection.

Talking about the 2017 Dakar rally, Hirvonen said: “I’m really happy and excited to participate to the Dakar for the second time. I think I learned a lot from this race last year and we’ve been working a lot with the team this year as well to be as ready as we can. I know it will be a big challenge again but I can’t wait to be on the start line and see what we can do.”

The Dakar Rally is an event recognised as the greatest challenge in the sport of long-distance rally driving. The 2017 edition (2nd-14th January 2017) will take in the South American countries of Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. The race will unfold over thousands of kilometres, with every type of terrain to be faced. Conditions will change dramatically from cold to desert-like heat, as will altitude, which can greatly affect crew and car performance alike. Dakar is like no other rally.

All the MINI crews :

Driver Co-driver
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Michel Périn (FRA)
Bryce Menzies (USA) Peter Mortensen (USA)
Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) Timo Gottschalk (GER)
Orlando Terranova (ARG) Andreas Schulz (GER)
Jakub Przygonski (POL) Tom Colsoul (BEL)
Boris Garafulic (CHL) Filipe Palmeiro (POR)
Mohamed Abu Issa (QAT) Xavier Panseri (FRA)
Stephan Schott (GER) Paulo Fiuza (POR)