Jan 09, 2016
• Eight MINI ALL4 Racing pairings in the top 20
• High altitude no problem for the drivers
Yesterday, the MINI ALL4 Racing Crews had to cope with the longest stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally: 542 kilometres around the Bolivian city of Uyuni. “Today’s stage featured a lot of different terrains,” said Nani Roma. “Flat, sandy and rocky sections, the mountains with winding as well as fast sections… Yes, the stage had it all.” The MINI ALL4 Racing drivers once again impressed with a great team performance: nine of the pairings made it to the top 20.
Nasser Al-Attiyah once again finished fifth: “We tried to complete the stage without any problems. Things are running really well for us but we just lack the top speed we would need to pressurise the Peugeots. We will try to defend our fourth position in the overall standings – after all, we are the best placed vehicle with four-wheel drive in overall classement.” Yesterday, Roma still had his problems with the altitude but today he was able to push again and worked his way up to sixth. “I felt much better than yesterday,” said the Catalan. “With 300 kilometres covered I arrived in the dust of Orly. His trail of dust had a length of about 150 metres and so, he couldn’t hear the sentinel. At the same time, I didn’t want to take any risk. But he also was driving really well.” Orlando Terranova finished behind Roma in eighth position and holds 11th in the overall standings.
Hirvonen once again had to cope with virgin soil. But the former WRC driver familiarises himself better and better with the new challenge represented by the off-road sections. “Today, things ran really well for us,” said the Finn. “No problems, no damaged tyre. Compared to yesterday, reading the route was difficult. Therefore, I didn’t push but I’m happy with our time, nevertheless. I’m still learning, particularly in the off-road sections. There, I still tend to being too careful every now and then.”
Just like Hirvonen, Harry Hunt and Kuba Przygonski also contest their first Dakar Rally with the MINI ALL4 Racing. Hunt finished 14th, today. “This was the longest special stage I’ve contested in my entire life,” revealed Hunt. “I could close in on Kuba and passed him. Apart from that no special incidents – it even was somewhat boring. But you had to really focus at some spots to avoid the risk of a puncture.“
For Przygonski it’s even the first Dakar at the wheel of a car. To date, he was riding a motor bike. “We encountered no problems whatsoever and the MINI ALL4 Racing ran perfectly”, said the Pole. “We had a small battle with Harry, today, and that was big fun. In the altitude, Andrei and I felt good. Not perfect but good. I enjoy sitting at the wheel of a car – particularly if you think about the rainy days we had to cope with. But I had to accustom to somebody sitting next to me and telling me where to go.”
Today, the seventh stage will take the field back to Argentina. And on Sunday, the teams will spend their day of rest at Salta. However, the service Teams will have to cope with a massive distance, tomorrow, and will arrive in the bivouac only late in the evening. At the same time, the pairings also will have to cover 817 kilometres, with the special stage distance amounting to 481 kilometres.
Result stage 6
1st S. Peterhansel (FRA) / J.-P. Cottret (FRA) Peugeot – 5h 01m 07s
2nd C. Sainz (ESP) / L. Cruz (ESP) Peugeot – 5h 01m 24s
3rd Y. Al-Rahji (SAU) / T. Gottschalk (GER) Toyota – 5h 08m 26s
4th S. Loeb (FRA) / D. Elena (MCO) Peugeot – 5h 09m 22s
5th N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 5h 09m 58s
6th J. Roma (ESP) / A. Haro (ESP) MINI ALL4 Racing – 5h 12m 08s
7th O. Terranova (ARG) / B. Graue (ARG) MINI ALL4 Racing – 5h 14m 13s
8th M. Hirvonen (FIN) / M. Périn (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 5h 15m 22s
10th E. van Loon (NDL) / W. Rosegaar (NDL) MINI ALL4 Racing – 5h 17m 52s
14th H. Hunt (GBR) / A. Schulz (GER) MINI ALL4 Racing – 5h 24m 02s
16th J. Przygonski (POL) / A. Rudnitski (BLR) MINI ALL4 Racing – 5h 29m 04s
17th A. Malysz (POL) / X. Panseri (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 5h 29m 51s …
19th B. Garafulic (CHL) / F. Palmeiro (POR) MINI ALL4 Racing – 5h 31m 49s
22nd N. Lopez (ARG) / S. Lafuente (URY) MINI ALL4 Racing – 5h 43m 41s
Overall standings with 6 stages contested
1st S. Peterhansel (FRA) / J.-P. Cottret (FRA) Peugeot – 18h 26m 20s
2nd S. Loeb (FRA) / D. Elena (MCO) Peugeot – 18h 26m 47s
3rd C. Sainz (ESP) / L. Cruz (ESP) Peugeot – 18h 32m 15s
4th N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 18h 41m 39s
5th G. De Villiers (ZAF) / D. von Zitzewitz (GER) Toyota – 18h 55m 41s
6th M. Hirvonen (FIN) / M. Périn (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 18h 56m 11s
11th O. Terranova (ARG) / B. Graue (ARG) MINI ALL4 Racing – 19h 25m 09s
12th E. van Loon (NDL) / W. Rosegaar (NDL) MINI ALL4 Racing – 19h 29m 33s
13th J. Roma (ESP) / A. Haro (ESP) MINI ALL4 Racing – 19h 41m 12s
14th J. Przygonski (POL) / A. Rudnitski (BLR) MINI ALL4 Racing – 19h 44m 05s
15th H. Hunt (GBR) / A. Schulz (GER) MINI ALL4 Racing – 19h 44m 16s
16th B. Garafulic (CHL) / F. Palmeiro (POR) MINI ALL4 Racing – 20h 02m 25s
18th A. Malysz (POL) / X. Panseri (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 20h 09m 45s
64th N. Lopez (ARG) / S. Lafuente (URY) MINI ALL4 Racing – 32h 15m 43s
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