Twenty-seven-year-old Harry Hunt, a Mini UK brand ambassador, has had an impressive first week of the 2016 Dakar Rally, sitting thirteenth at the halfway point.
Alongside co-driver Andy Schulz, the Briton has been setting competitive stage times that were just outside the top ten, which has been impressive baring in mind it is his first experience of the Dakar.
“It’s been an amazing experience and above all I want to get to the finish,” said Hunt. “So far, this has probably been the most intense week of my life and I’m learning so much every day.
“We’ve been trying to drive at a good pace, which is not too quick and not too slow, and we’ve managed to steer clear of any major problems. The car, the team and my co-driver Andy have all been fantastic. I’m looking forward to the next half of the rally now.”
Hunt revealed that he has not had that many issues on what is renowned as the one of the toughest rallies in the world, and has been happy with the reliability of his Mini All4 Racing machine.
“Nothing out of the ordinary: a couple of punctures, and we’ve been caught in peoples’ dust a few times, but that’s about it,” said Hunt.
“Reliability-wise, the car has been absolutely perfect, which has allowed me to focus just on driving and gaining experience, which is why we’re here. For a first Dakar, I’m pretty pleased up to now.
“We’re not going to be doing anything massively different to what we’ve done so far, but the rally changes character a bit, with more complex navigation and open sand dunes, so we need to be careful.
“Above all, we want to finish and do the best possible job for MINI UK, to repay all their support and faith in us.”