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MINI John Cooper Works Buggies Get Ready For Dakar With Former Peugeot Champions

Two months left until the start of next year’s Dakar rally, and the drivers who plan to compete in the race have already begun getting their gear ready.
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For Cyril Despres, Stéphane Peterhansel and Carlos Sainz, this season's gear includes the MINI’s John Cooper Works buggies, which they will be driving as part of the X-raid team.

X-raid is the team which created the buggies the three drivers will be racing. Using a BMW 3.0-liter diesel engine, they made a machine that develops 350 horsepower and can reach speeds of up to 190 kph(118 mph).

The bodies of the buggies are made from a selection of lightweight materials, including carbon fiber and kevlar.

The initial testing of the buggies has already commenced at Rallye du Maroc, a warm-up of sorts for the Dakar race.

The 2019 entry in the South American competition will mark the second participation of the MINI buggies in the world famous rally, following that of earlier this year.

As for the drivers, they are used to winning. Cyril Despres has won Dakar five times, even if all those wins came with him riding motorcycles instead of driving cars (in 2018, he drove the dunes on board a Team Peugeot Total car.

Stéphane Peterhansel is a rally veteran, having won the race no less than 13 times. He was also with Peugeot in the 2018 season, as was Carlos Sainz, the reigning Dakar champion.

“This trio is obviously a dream cast, which brings a wealth of experience,” said in a statement Sven Quandt, X-raid CEO, naming Sainz essential for the development of the car, Peterhansel a friend and Despres intriguing.

The 2019 Dakar rally will kick off on January 6 in Lima, Peru. Eleven days and 5,000 km later (3,100 miles), those capable enough to have navigated successfully the 10 stages - 70 percent of them on sand - will be crowned champions.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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