MINI ALL4 Racing: Four events – three wins
• Nasser Al-Attiyah wins in Egypt
• Vladimir Vasilyev defends his World Cup lead
The MINI All4 Racing, developed and built by X-raid, proved to also be invincible in Egypt’s Pharaons Rally. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) and his navigator Mathieu Baumel (FRA) celebrated their second consecutive win in the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup, with the Russians Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov once again delivering on an extremely consistent level to finish third behind Yazeed Al-Rajhi and defend their World Cup lead.
Al-Attiyah dominated the Egyptian rally in superior style. He took the lead on day two and defended it to the finish line against his toughest rivals, Al-Rajhi and Vasilyev, with the three drivers securing all the stage wins and Al-Attiyah and Vasilyev winning a stage each. Al-Attiyah held a 10-minute lead when starting into the final day and consequently, he opted for a conservative approach: “Today we controlled the race and didn’t make any mistakes,” the delighted said later. “The field in this rally always is extremely competitive and therefore, the win tastes even sweeter.” Meanwhile, Vasilyev and Al-Rajhi fiercely fought for the second position. Prior to the final stage, the gap between the two rivals amounted to just 54 seconds and in the end, Vasilyev secured the very fine third place. “Unfortunately we lost some time due to a slow puncture we had to stop and change the tyre,” revealed Vasilyev. “But we are delighted with having made it to the podium, after this very good rally. We demonstrated that we have got what it takes to fight.” Meanwhile, Dutch pairing Erik van Loon and Wouter Rosegaar finished seventh in the Pharaons Rally.
The Polish-French pairing Adam Malysz / Xavier Panseri wasn’t that lucky. They delivered in fine style and held fourth position in the overall standings but somersaulted in stage four and consequently were forced into retirement.
For the MINI ALL4 Racing vehicles and the X-raid service trucks, the Pharaons Rally meant the end of a long journey. Following their return from South America, the staff had had just a few days time for preparing the trucks for the big tour: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – Sealine Cross Country Rally / Qatar – Pharaons Rally / Egypt. And now, after some two months, the equipment will be shipped back to Europe.
Meanwhile, another two MINI ALL4 Racing vehicles will be racing in South America, next week. From Tuesday, they will contest the Desafío Ruta 40. While the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup will be continued on the last weekend in June with the Italian Baja.