Some news about Great Wall – the Chinese automaker has certainly been making great strides in its Dakar Rally programme, which it began getting involved in back in 2010.

In the 2012 edition of the rally raid, which ran last month and was won by Stephane Peterhansel in a MINI All 4 Racing, the company’s Haval Racing Team managed to place well in the top 10, with the Haval race SUV driven by former FIA Cross Country world champion Carlos Souza ending the gruelling race ranked 7th, the best result ever achieved by a Chinese racing team in the rally. The other Haval, with Chinese driver Zhou Yong at the helm, finished 20th.

Nothing like continued participation to drive home the points – the third-generation Haval racing SUVs gained significant improvements over the earlier machines by drawing on the experience of the previous two years. The 2012 race Haval ended up shorter than its predecessors in order to offer better driving and control characteristics, and significantly, replaced the gasoline mills previously with a diesel option. Score yet another for the oil burner.