Dakar X-Raid : Preparations complete, we’re ready to go

– Shakedown successfully completed
– Dakar starts tomorrow with prologue

The excitement is rising – just a few hours to go until the start of the 2024 Dakar Rally. The three MINI JCW Rally Plus and the three X-raid 1000R Turbo side-by-sides have completed their shakedown and technical scrutineering. All vehicles are ready for the more than 7,000-kilometre hunt for the desired Bedouin trophy.

The X-raid team did not have much time to prepare. After collecting all the vehicles from the harbor in Yanbu and driving to Al Ula, there was little time left to check the cars. The shakedown was already scheduled for January 3rd. One day later, the cars had to undergo technical scrutineering in the morning.

Tomorrow the drivers face a comparatively gentle start to the Dakar. The 28-kilometre prologue will be held near the start camp and will also lead the participants back to Al Ula. There everyone can recover before the 414 kilometre stage to Al Henakiyah on Saturday.

Quotes from the drivers
Vaidotas Zala (#214 MINI JCW Rally Plus) : « The car is great. I’m really happy about the upgrades. X-raid has done a good job to improve the car in the last six months. New suspension, gearbox, everything works well. We also tested the new tyres for the first time – it seems that they are much more resistant to stones. In general, we are very happy with the starting set-up for the Dakar 2024. »

Krzysztof Holowczyc (#217 MINI JCW Rally Plus) : « It’s amazing how much this rally has changed. It has become even more professional compared to what I remember from South America. This participation is a great challenge. I am also aware that the competition is very strong, there are many good drivers, good cars and good teams. We will try to achieve the results we dream of. That dream is to be on the podium! Preferably in the middle. We improved some small technical details during the shakedown. »

Pau Navarro (#230 MINI JCW Rally Plus) : « Our aim in the shakedown was to get to know the MINI better. Later, we made a few changes to the car and I also adapted my driving style. We learned a lot. Let’s see how we fare against the other drivers. We don’t want to push too hard on the first few days. We want to gain more experience before we go full throttle. My goal would be to finish in the top 10. This is my first time competing in a « big » car at the Dakar. That’s why I’m thinking from day to day. »

Ignacio Casale (#309 X-raid 1000R Turbo) : « We used the shakedown to adjust a few things in the set-up. I’m excited and really looking forward to the start. The side-by-side is great. I have a great feeling when driving and I’m sure that we can compete for the top positions. »