Here's a question for you. Where do you think a straw bale comes into a team's Dakar preparation? Honestly, you'll never get it. In fact there's quite a lot about today that you wouldn't align with racing across the planet's hottest, driest spots.
Mini has selected a very fortunate few to come along and sit next to a Frenchman who is particularly handy at getting from A to B through the desert, be it on two wheels or four. But where am I meeting Stephane Peterhansel just days before he heads to the achingly hot desert plains? In the mountains.
The Austrian Alps, to be precise. Where the temperature is laughing in the face of anything positive and for fesh-fesh, read, er, snow.
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David Evans is the rallies editor of Autosport and Motorsport News. A successful rally driving father ensured an early introduction to motorsport and, fascinated as he was by rallying, the fourth estate was of equal interest. Having read (or at least looked at the pictures) from the age of two, he joined <i>Motoring News</i> in 1996 and later moved to Autosport in 2002.@davidevansrally More features by David Evans