MINI announces crews for 2017 Dakar Rally

by Umar Hassan

MINI All4 Racing have announced their crews for the upcoming 2017 Dakar Rally.

MINI are no strangers to this event, winning four consecutive Dakar Rallies from 2012-2015.

Forming the eight-car line up with MINI and its motorsport partner X-Raid are drivers who have varying experience of competing at the Dakar.

Former World Rally Championship driver Mikko Hirvonen makes his second Dakar start, alongside French co-driver Michel Périn.

Alongside Hirvonen is the young American Bryce Menzies, who makes his first start at the Dakar alongside fellow countryman Peter Mortensen.

Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al Rajhi comes off the back of his 2016 WRC2 and FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup campaigns to make his second start at the Dakar alongside Timo Gottschalk.

The remaining five crews for MINI All4 Racing are Orlando Terranova/Andreas Schulz, Jakub Przygonski/Tom Colsoul, Boris Garafulic/Filipe Palmeiro, Mohamed Abu Issa/Xavier Panseri and Stephan Schott/Paulo Fiuza.

Hirvonen spoke about his excitement of competing at the Dakar again “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.”

Menzies added “Competing in Dakar has been a lifelong dream of mine, I’m thrilled to be headed to Dakar as part of X-raid Team and fulfilling that dream.

“I’ve competed in quite a few races in a variety of terrain now and while nothing can prepare you for how gruelling the Dakar is I feel very comfortable with my team, my car and my co-driver. I’m looking forward to taking the green flag.”

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