#302 Mini: Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret
#302 Mini: Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret

Photo by: X-Raid Team

Those who believe that the Dakar Rally competitors laze around, on the rest day, are totally mistaken. The people in the bivouac at San Miguel de Tucuman are extremely busy, today – and it goes without saying that this also applies to those working in the Monster Energy X-raid Team’s service park. There, all the five MINI ALL4 Racing vehicles and the BMW X3 CC are stripped and checked by the mechanics before the crews change the parts that have to be replaced and reassemble the cars.

For the drivers and co-drivers, an ordinary day of racing certainly is more exhausting than the rest day but their schedule for today features interview by interview, with Stéphane Peterhansel, who holds the 2013 Dakar Rally lead since day two, being of particular interest for the media. “This was the toughest start into a Dakar Rally since the event was moved to South America,” reveals the Frenchman. “But I’m fit and now, the second week may come. Nonetheless, it’s nice that I can relax a little bit, today.” Peterhansel still holds a 3:14-minute lead over second-placed buggy driver Nasser Al Attiyah.

With Leonid Novitskiy, Nani Roma and Orlanda Terranova in fourth, seventh and eighth positions respectively, another three X-raid team drivers also hold top-10 positions. “The first week was really eventful,” says Monster Energy X-raid Team Manager Sven Quandt. “The gaps – apart from the one between the two leaders – are amazingly big. Today, our cars get a full check-up as we want to be perfectly prepared for the second week.”

At the same time, yesterday’s special stage still was the topic of numerous discussions in the bivouac. The minor tidal wave that filled a dried-up riverbed quickly, following heavy rain in the Andes, impressed numerous drivers massively. And as many car got stuck or had to make a detour, they arrived at the bivouac only late in the evening. Consequently, the rest day is even more important for the teams.

X-raid