Following a positive season opener for MINI at the Baja Russia (20 – 22 February), where Russian pairing Vladimir Vasilyev / Konstantin Zhiltsov overcame snow, ice and difficult wet terrain to place their MINI ALL4 Racing in second position, the World Cup championship now moves to the second of the season’s 10 championship arenas.
Teams leaving round one and entering the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, the second round of the World Cup, have to contemplate competing in opposing conditions served up by the Liwa Desert and other extreme areas within Abu Dhabi emirate. But desert heat and dry conditions are not unknown quantities to MINI and the MINI ALL4 Racing – a MINI ALL4 Racing has won the prestigious Desert Challenge three times (2011, 2013, 2014) since its competitive debut season in 2011.
An impressive line-up of MINI ALL4 Racing in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge means an equally impressive line-up of drivers and co-drivers. Once again, the Russian pairing of Vladimir Vasilyev / Konstantin Zhiltsov will be in action amongst the dunes with the same determination that captured the win at last year’s Desert Challenge. Additional fuel for them to succeed is the defence of their 2014 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup title; and to present MINI with its fourth World Cup championship with the MINI ALL4 Racing.
Another driver sure to be under the spotlight is Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) who, along with co-driver Mathieu Baumel (FRA), drove the MINI ALL4 Racing of Qatar Rally Team to a successful MINI title defence of the 2015 Dakar Rally. In doing so, MINI with its MINI ALL4 Racing celebrated a fourth consecutive win of this legendary event.
A full list of MINI All4 Racing entrants to the 25th anniversary year of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge will follow upon closure of competitor registration.
Speaking ahead of the second round of the 2015 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup, 2015 Dakar Rally winner Nasser Al-Attiyah said: “The 2015 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is, once again, set to be a heavily subscribed event. This, of course, means a tremendous amount of competition from old and new adversaries, which we welcome with open arms. Competition and challenges make for impressive racing and exceptional machine development; the latter of which can be seen with the fantastic results the MINI ALL4 Racing has produced over the last four years and continues to do so.”
Race calendar: 2015 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies.
20/02 – 22/02 Baja Russia
27/03 – 2/04 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
18/04 – 24/04 Sealine Cross-Country Rally Qatar
10/05 – 17/05 Pharaons Rally
25/06 – 28/06 Italian Baja
24/07 – 26/07 Baja Aragón
13/08 – 16/08 Hungarian Baja
03/10 – 09/10 Rallye du Maroc
22/10 – 24/10 Baja Portalegre 500
20th February 2015
5th February 2015
4th February 2015
13th January 2015
31st December 2014
29th November 2014
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