Season kick-off for X-raid at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

Mikko Hirvonen and Michel Périn © DR

– Yazeed Al-Rajhi the latest asset to the Trebur based top-team
– Test for the Buggy

For the X-raid Team, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (01st to 07th April, 2016) represents the kick-off of the 2016 season. This rally is one of the most popular ones in the calendar, because the competition runs on sand and in the dunes of the Liwa desert.

The top pairings are Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) / Michel Périn (FRA) and Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU) / Timo Gottschalk (GER)!

Hirvonen stunned both the competitors and the motor-racing enthusiasts, with a sensational performance in his first Dakar and held a top position throughout the whole event. In Abu Dhabi he can keep on gaining experience on sand. Meanwhile, Al-Rajhi who is known to be very fast, too, certainly also wants to become a factor in the battle for the win. For the Saudi, racing the MINI ALL4 Racing doesn’t represent unknown territory as he already made an appearance in the car: in the 2012 Hail Rally.

As it was already announced, Sheikh Khalid bin Faisal Al-Qassimi (UAE) will make his debut appearance as MINI ALL4 Racing driver. Kuba Przygonski (POL) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) also belong to the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge line-up. In 2015, Przygonski switched from motorbike to car racing to secure a top-15 finish in the 2016 Dakar. Also a MINI ALL4 Racing will be raced by German pairing Stephan Schott / Holm Schmidt. The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is one of the favourite rallies of the German drivers.

And don’t forget the X-raid buggy with the pairing Jutta Kleinschmidt (GER) / Tina Thörner (SWE) in the cockpit that completes the X-raid line-up for Abu Dhabi. For them, it’s less about securing a good result than about covering as many important development kilometres as possible, in the UAE.

The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge will be kicked off on 02nd April with a Super Special Stage. On the following day, the event takes the field into the Liwa Desert where the competitors will have to contest five stages. And on 07th April, the field returns to Abu Dhabi City.

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