Stephane Peterhansel hails 'incredible' Dakar Rally win
|By Pablo Elizalde
||Sunday, January 20th 2013, 10:38 GMT
Stephane Peterhansel labelled his back-to-back victories in the Dakar Rally as 'incredible' following his record-breaking win.
The Frenchman took things easy in Saturday's final stage of the event to secure his 11th Dakar win, and the fifth in the cars category.
Peterhansel, who was tied with Ari Vatanen with four overall victories, is now the only man to have won the rally five times with a car.
"It's just incredible that we really succeeded in defending the title," said Peterhansel.
"We had to battle it out with numerous extremely competitive opponents but in the end, we were the ones who secured the win.
"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."
The X-raid driver, who won the event last year also with a Mini, said this year's car was the best he had ever driven.
"This is the first time we finished the race without mechanical problems. This is the best car I've ever had," he added.
X-raid team manager Sven Quandt was also short for words after managing to defend the Dakar title successfully.
"I just can't believe that we succeeded in winning the Dakar for the second consecutive time," he said. "Prior to the start, many people regarded us as favourites but you mustn't underestimate your opponents.
"And in the opening stages of the event, our rivals demonstrated that they were determined to give us a hard time. In the end, however, our reliable Mini and our professional team enabled us to make it to the highest step on the podium."
AUTOSPORT Dakar blogs:
Race2Recovery: A different kind of battle
AUTOSPORT's Sam Tremayne with X-raid