If you've been following the news about the X-Raid Mini Countryman, then you'll know about the mechanical setbacks the Team X-Raid suffered at the 2011 Dakar Rally. Although they placed in 9th place, the crew had no doubt that the beefed-up, off-road ready, more powerful diesel Mini would cross the finish line in Buenos Aires on January 16. That is, until disaster struck the team.
In a freak accident during an evening test session the Countryman was force to withdraw; meaning that the X-Raid's newest vehicle would not leave Arica, Chile. What happened was that the vehicle clipped a ride of earth and caused the car to flip into a series of tumbles and rolls. The rolls resulted in heavy damage sustained to the Mini Countryman's body panels. Team director Sven Quandt decided to not rebuild the car overnight and sadly was forced to opt to withdraw from continuing on in the event.
This is clearly a blow to Mini and its just released X-Raid Countryman, but thankfully the driver, Guerlain Chicherit, managed to come out of the wreck unscathed. There's always next year.