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Countrymen, Lend Me Your Gears! (Video)

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On: Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 11:37AM | By: Chris Salamone


Countrymen, Lend Me Your Gears! (Video)

Much has been said about Prodrive-enhanced Minis as the latest and greatest Mini modification. Step aside, Prodrive, X-raid has entered the arena. Sponsored by Monster, the German-based Baja racing team X-raid plans to enter five excruciatingly excellent Minis in a high-stakes South American desert rally race starting January 1, 2012 and concluding two weeks later across the continent.

In addition to five brightly-colored Minis, X-raid also intends to throw in three BMW X3s in the 2012 Dakar rally which spans from Mar del Plata, Argentina to Lima, Peru.

“We have got a truly competitive line-up and are very well prepared for the 2012 Dakar” said X-raid team Manager Sven Quandt. “Stephane Peterhansel most definitely represents our spearhead but the other four Minis All4 Racing also are raced by extremely competitive drivers. The motor-racing enthusiasts certainly will witness a fierce fight for the win but I’m convinced that they also will be thrilled by our colorful fleet. It will be a difficult Dakar and the competition which will benefit from the modification of the regulations should not be underestimated, especially the Toyotas and Mitsubishis.”

Quandt is referring to a new rule which encourages manufacturers to design rally vehicles with non-modified, stock engines. In theory this new set of non-modified engines will be lumped into a totally open class of cars which meet the stock criteria, toward an ultimate goal of the widespread use of non-modified engines—leading to an eventual reduction in cost-to-race and a leveling of field performance.

Another obvious benefit of encouraging non-moded engines is that consumers of rally racing love to cheer on cars they own or can buy just by walking down the street. And who knows? Maybe an official X-raid Mini might eventually make it to the showroom. So far the market for Mini’s Countryman seems somewhat light, but perhaps the automaker needs to take their ‘soft-roader’ to the next level. Could improving the vehicle’s intended function be the answer?

Regardless of how or why a sporting bunch of Mini Countrymen made their way onto the rally circuit, we can all agree that the X-raid team has made an excellent choice in styling. And if sponsorship impact is the goal, assuming the race starts or finishes with five highlighter-themed Minis sailing through the air, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be drinking Monster energy drinks and daydreaming of the Countryman for the next year.




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Comments

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AutoHistory | 1:09PM (Tue, Nov 15, 2011)

That second video is really entertaining...


reply

Stephy21 | 10:09AM (Wed, Nov 16, 2011)

Love the videos very cool article.



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