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Mini retires from Dakar after crash

Guerlain Chicherit, X-Raid Mini, Dakar 2011The X-Raid team's new Mini Dakar entry has been forced out of the rally after Guerlain Chicherit crashed while getting some testing mileage during Saturday's rest day in Arica.

Following early days, Chicherit had shown promising pace as he got the Mini back up to ninth overall by the end of Friday's sixth stage.

But during a practice run yesterday, he crashed heavily, causing severe damage to the Mini and sustaining a head injury. Chicherit was kept under observation in the rally's medical centre and did not require a hospital visit.

X-Raid team boss Sven Quandt said: "Guerlain is not seriously injured, but the car somersaulted once or twice.

"We don't have time to repair and anyway we don't have all the parts we need."

The rally has resumed this morning with Carlos Sainz leading Nasser Al-Attiyah in a Volkswagen one-two, while Stephane Peterhansel is third in the best of X-Raid's BMWs.

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