Two Week Rally Across South America
The 36th Dakar Rally is setting up to be one of the greatest competitions in all of motorsports with teams flying in from all over the globe for a two-week long race across the grueling deserts of South America. The race will be taking place from January 5th through the 18th in what we’re calling the world cup of off road racing! The 2014 Dakar Rally will be one of the meanest races yet that will test the limits of both man and machine while covering a 9,374-Kilometer (that’s 5,824.7 miles for those of us who haven’t converted to the metric system yet) loop through the grueling South American continent.
Of course, one of the biggest names at the Dakar Rally in the last couple of years has been Team MINI, who has been a dominant force across the dunes and deserts of South America. This time they’re lining up with the MINI ALL4 Racing at the Dakar Rally to try to add to their wins from the previous two years.
“The 2012 Dakar victory of the MINI ALL4 Racing certainly came as a surprise to many, “ says Jochen Goller, Senior Vice President MINI. “But its title defense in 2013 proved that the initial victory was no coincidence. The 2014 Dakar will be another great challenge which the MINI brand gladly accepts.“ In 2014, Peterhansel is out to complete a hat-trick of titles for MINI and the X-raid Team.
The MINI ALL4 Racing race cars are powered by a 300 horsepower BMW 3.0-liter turbo diesel dry-sump engine that delivers peak torque at 3250 RPM. This allows the MINI ALL4 Racing to hit a top speed of 115 mph which might not seem all that fast until you consider they are pushing these speeds through the dirt.
Backing up all that power is a Sadev six-speed, sequential gearbox with six forward gears and one reverse gear. When starting the car, the gears are shifted using the AP Racing clutch and once the car is in motion, gear changes can be made without using the clutch. The shifter is not arranged in the conventional H pattern and uses a motorcycle style positive shift system. Downshifting occurs by pushing forward on the shifter while up-shifting is as simple as pulling back on the shifter. A multi-plate sintered metal clutch ensures all the power gets to the wheels. The MINI ALL4 Racing is also equipped with lockable oil-cooled Xtrac front, middle and rear axle differentials.
The MINI ALL4 Racing is designed for rallying in extreme conditions. In total, the MINI ALL4 Racing is about five percent larger than the production version of the MINI Countryman. The overwhelming majority of the body is made of carbon fiber. The roll cage’s integrated steel pipes meet aircraft industry standards while parts of the roll cage are bonded to the monocoque. The enclosed passenger cell is the only component of the car that cannot be taken apart, while all the remaining parts on the MINI ALL4 Racing can be dismantled separately into other individual parts which make it the perfect off road vehicle platform for thousands of grueling miles through the dirt.
With Robby Gordon joining the FIA ranks for 2014 with his yet to be seen HST Gordini carbon fiber racer, the guys at MINI ALL4 Racing are in for an all-out battle to try to pull of the hat-trick victory at the 2014 Dakar Rally in January.