Stephane Peterhansel said his two consecutive victories in the Dakar Rally are „incredible” following his record-breaking win.
It was his 11th victory in the fearsome rally. The Frenchman is the first driver ever to win the Dakar five times with a car, and the only one to have won it another six times on a motorcycle. Peterhansel has labeled as incredible the fact that he has managed to break Ari Vatanen’s record of four overall wins in the car category.
“It’s just incredible that we really succeeded in defending the title. We had to battle it out with numerous extremely competitive opponents but in the end, we were the ones who secured the win,” Peterhansel was quoted as saying by Autosport.
The X-raid driver praised the performance of the Mini Countryman. “Just as it was the case last year, the Mini ran perfectly. I have to thank the entire team that did a fantastic job – and not only during the past two weeks. This is the first time we finished the race without mechanical problems. This is the best car I’ve ever had,” the Frenchman said.
The 47-year-old Peterhansel, whose last two race wins have come in a Mini following three in a Mitsubishi, has also won six titles in the motorcycle category with his first triumph coming in 1991. He dedicated his win to Jean-Claude Olivier, the team manager during his motorbike victories who died in a traffic accident in France last weekend.