MINI Motorsports

Mikko Hirvonen to make Dakar Rally debut in 2016

MINI All4 Racing

Mikko Hirvonen will be helped through the withdrawals of his post-WRC career by competing for the all conquering MINI X-raid Team in the 2016 Dakar Rally (3–16 January). The MINI All4 Racing has won the last four Dakar events.

What does Mikko know about the Dakar? Not a lot it turns out, which is why he will be preparing for the Dakar by competing with X-raid in a selection of events in the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup. Mikko will make his MINI All4 Racing debut in the Baja Aragón race (24–26 July).

Even though he is joining a team with hopes of outright success at Dakar, Hirvonen maintains the old adage to finish first, first you have to finish.

“Dakar is such a long race and the dunes there are in a world of their own,” Hirvonen said. “So, to finish the event without encountering major issues or without getting stuck anywhere already would represent a really good achievement for my first Dakar.

“Meanwhile, the Baja Aragón is going to be more of the kind of rallying I’m used to. But driving without pace notes in your road book is not so easy and I still have to familiarise myself with the MINI All4 Racing as well.

“But should I feel good in the car and everything works well we hopefully will be able to set some good times in Baja Aragón.”

Motorsports Volkswagen

Volkswagen Motorsport: 2011 Dakar photo gallery

Volkswagen Motorsport - Dakar 2011

It’s about a week or so since Nasser Al-Attiyah and Timo Gottschalk claimed victory in the 2011 Dakar Rally. If you missed the action, or would simply like to see what the lads got up to, then here’s a photo gallery sourced from Volkswagen Motorsport showing the mighty Race Touareg 3 in action. There’s over 100 pics, so you might want to put the kettle on first!


More ways to keep up to date with Dakar 2011

Carlos Sainz, Dakar 2011

If you want to keep up to date with Dakar 2011 here’s two methods you might consider. Firstly, the official Dakar Rally YouTube channel is posting daily highlights; clips from Stages 1 and 2 can be viewed right here after the break.

Those who prefer to sit on their couch can tune in to the SBS TV highlights show broadcast at 5:30 every afternoon (thanks to Tim for the tip). If that timing is not suitable for you, then fear not, you can watch the extended highlights at your leisure online via the SBS Dakar website.

Volkswagen also has a free Dakar 2011 App available on the Australian iTunes Store. There is an official Dakar 2011 App available, too, but only via the French iTunes Store and, of course, not it’s in English anyway.


Volkswagen Amarok at 2010 Dakar Rally

2010 Volkswagen Amarok

Here’s a short and sweet photo gallery showing the Volkswagen Amarok getting down and dirty during the 2010 Dakar Rally. In all 35 Amaroks were used during the event, 20 of those assisting the successful Race Touareg teams, while the other 15 were used by media and race officials. Looks like they had fun.

Motorsports Volkswagen

Carlos Sainz and Volkswagen win 2010 Dakar Rally

VW Race Touareg - 2010 Dakar Rally

Carlos Sainz has avenged his disappointment from last year’s Dakar Rally on the way to headlining a clean sweep of the podium for the diesel powered Volkswagen Race Touraegs. It is the first time Volkswagen have claimed a one-two-three finish at the Dakar and follows their one-two result from the 2009 race.

Sainz and co-driver Lucas Cruz (#303) finished 2 minutes 12 seconds ahead of  Nasser Al-Attiyah and Timo Gottschalk (#306). Third place was taken by Mark Miller and Ralph Pitchford (#305). Last year’s winners Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz (#300) finished seventh.

Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen was understandably elated with the unprecedented success for his team, “Three weeks ago a highly motivated Volkswagen team came with the goal of successfully defending the ‘Dakar’ title won last year. Volkswagen has achieved something historical with this one-two-three.”

Sainz, who can now add the Dakar crown to his two World Rally Championship titles, said “I have fulfilled a dream by winning the ‘Dakar’. An enormous weight has fallen from my shoulders particularly as the fight for victory was extremely hard both physically and enormously exhausting mentally.

“Everything ran perfectly for me: My co-driver Lucas Cruz did an excellent job, from the technical side the Race Touareg ran like clockwork and the entire Volkswagen squad worked tirelessly for the win. Thank you for this.”

It’s the first time an all-Spanish crew has won the event and Cruz was over the moon with the win, “After so much pressure over the last few days it goes without saying that I’m incredibly happy on the day of my first ‘Dakar’ victory. I think we have beaten tough competitors and also one of the hardest ‘Dakar’s’ ever.

“Carlos approached his job throughout the entire event patiently, concentrated but also with great tenacity. He is a great champion, it’s fantastic to win with him.”

A huge image gallery from the Volkswagen Motorsport team can bee seen after the jump, along with extensive press releases including quotes from all Race Touareg driving crews.

Carmageddon Mitsubishi Motorsports News

Mitsubishi waves goodbye to Dakar

Mitsubishi Lancer Dakar09

The Global Financial Crisis has claimed its latest motorsport scalp with Mitsubishi quitting its Dakar Rally program. The withdrawal goes further and brings an end to Mitsubishi’s involvement in all cross-country rally events.

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation says the global economy has forced them to tighten their belts.

Brief statement below.