The Dakar is over and the most reliable car of the race (One two and three overall and all MINI All4 Racing at the finish) is nearly ready for the first round of the FIA World Cup, but the conditions are totally oposed than the ones where the X-raid creation is used to run. We speak with Sven Quandt about the modifications in the MINI for the Northern Forest Baja Rusia.
Which are the major modifications in the MINIs for the Baja Russia?
The Baja Russia is obviously a very cold event in ice and snow so we have to change the mapping from the engine a bit but the main items are to get the engine, diffs and gearbox warm. It is not so easy as the temperatures vary quit a bit and if you run the MINI in conditions below -20 with wind it could get easily down to -35 and this is a big diffence.
How do you prepare them for the winter conditions?
See above plus we close a lot of openings which are for ventilation and only for hot weather conditions. We will be in Russia some days earlier to test all the modifications and as well the special heating system which we build in the car for the drivers.
Can you explain the main differences from the Dakar preparation and the “Snow” preparation?
Spezial commercial winter diesel is needed, closing the ratiators partially , depending on the outside temperature and the wind, heating of the inside of the car must be improved , spezial defrost for the windscreen. Tents with heating to work on the car.
What kind of tires will use the MINI?
Michelin as usual but with studs as they are allowed in Russia
What do you expect from your drivers and from the race?
It will be difficult to predict but we hope that with the experience our drivers have in snow and cold conditions it should be possible to have a good result. But we know as well that our MINI’s are not made for those conditions as we prepare them for hot and very hot conditions which is absolutely the opposite what is waiting for the cars in Russia. So we are happy if the cars run without major problems and finish. If it is a good result we have to say thanks to the drivers as they will make the difference.
RISE Network / Rallyraid.net official Media Partner of Baja Russia