This year X-Raid is set to dominate with no less than 12 vehicles, 11 of them are Minis! Crazy stuff but it means that we are bound to see some great Dakar liveries coming out in 2014 from Scalextric and Carrera who produce the Minis.
From Dakar.com: "With 12 cars at the Start, including the Minis of Stéphane Peterhansel and Nasser Al Attiyah, X-Raid lines up as the team to beat in the Dakar 2014. However, the fortress could be besieged by the rapidly developing buggies, or perhaps by the Toyota of Giniel De Villiers.
That is what we can call an ‘Armada'. X-Raid has 12 entries in the Dakar, 11 of them Minis, i.e. the car that has shown its superiority in the last two editions of the rally. At the wheel of these winning machines, 5 drivers have already been in the elite Top 5 of the Dakar: Orlando Terranova (5th in 2013); Krzysztof Holowczyc (5th in 2009 and 2011); Joan ‘Nani' Roma, winner on bikes 10 years ago and 2nd in cars in 2012; and, above all, two previous winners of the race: Nasser Al Attiyah in 2011 at the wheel of a Volkswagen, and the master of the discipline, eleven-time winner Stéphane Peterhansel, with 6 titles on a bike and the last 2 in the team led by Sven Quandt.
The duel promises to be between Peterhansel and Qatari ‘recruit of the year' Al Attiyah, who has fallen for the charms of the Mini after his buggy experience last year. Nevertheless, the temperament of the three other top-line competitors in the group makes for a fierce battle that will set the race alight … not forgetting the internal battles that sometimes work against teams!"
For the 2014 edition, five special stages have been marked out on completely separate routes, with motorcycles and quad bikes on one hand and cars and trucks on the other. Overall, the ‘separation’ includes around 2,000 kilometres of timed sections, covering more than 40% of the distance.
In sporting terms, this has the double advantage of taking motorcycle and quad riders onto more technical and narrower tracks during some stages, while enabling the leaders of the car race to ‘hit the trail’ without using the tracks left by the two-wheelers.This is also a decisive advantage in terms of safety, as separating the routes eliminates all situations requiring careful overtaking. The benefit is even greater given that the stages in question are essentially in the first part of the rally, when there are many vehicles on the track."
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