Stephane Peterhansel claimed his 10th Dakar Rally win, and the first for the Mini brand, as he cruised to the finish in Lima today.
The Frenchman, whose fourth victory in the legendary event's car category follows six wins on motorcycles, was in control of the 2012 Dakar for the majority of the distance. Early punctures and a period stuck in sand dunes two stages from the end were the only significant blips in Peterhansel's two weeks in South America.
Peterhansel's winning margin was just over 40 minutes ahead of his X-raid Mini teammate Nani Roma. The Spaniard had been much closer before a significant delay in the dunes yesterday. Fellow X-raid man Krzysztof Holowczyc was also a victory threat at first, but tumbled down the order with mechanical problems in the middle of the second week.
Leonid Novitskiy made sure X-raid still got three of its Minis in the top four, as he came home fourth behind Giniel de Villiers' Toyota.
The main opposition to the Minis came from the Hummers run by Robby Gordon's team, as both the American and his 2011 Dakar-winning teammate Nasser Al-Attiyah showed spectacular pace during the event.
Ultimately, however, both encountered too many problems to contend for victory, with Al-Attiyah retiring early in the second week, and Gordon dropping back to fifth. Gordon still added victory on today's short final stage to his tally, though he was competing under appeal following a dispute over a tire inflation system on his car.
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap
1. Stephane Peterhansel Mini 14h54m46s
2. Nani Roma Mini + 41m56s
3. Giniel de Villiers Toyota + 1h13m25s
4. Leonid Novitskiy Mini + 2h11m54s
5. Robby Gordon Hummer + 2h16m53s
6. Lucio Alvarez Toyota + 4h05m52s
7. Carlos Sousa Great Wall + 4h30m24s
8. Ricardo Leal dos Santos Mini + 5h03m18s
9. Bernhard Ten Brinke Mitsubishi + 5h11m18s
10. Krzysztof Holowczyc Mini + 6h59m38s