Jun 04, 2016
Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (03rd – 07th April 2016):
The desert rally was our first race after the Dakar rally. Overall seven MINI ALL4 Racing and the X-raid buggy were on the entry list. Time was really short to prepare everything, as our racing and service vehicles returned from South America only in the end of February. But like always our crew did a great job and only one week after the return the racing cars and service trucks left the company to be shipped to the UAE.
In Abu Dhabi three new drivers took a seat behind the wheel of a MINI ALL4 Racing: Yazeed Al-Rajhi and his navigator Timo Gottschalk, Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi and Khalid Al Kendi and Bryce Menzies, who challenged the desert with the experienced Andreas Schulz in the navigator seat. The crews Mikko Hirvonen / Michel Périn, Kuba Przygonski / Tom Colsoul, Vladimir Vasilyev / Kostantin Zhiltsov and Stephan Schott / Holm Schmidt also traveled to Abu Dhabi. The two ladies Jutta Kleinschmidt and Tina Thörner took a seat in the buggy to gain more testing kilometers.
After untypical very changeable weather conditions from 17 °C and rain to 40°C heat and sun Yazeed secured the second place overall in front of Mikko, Bryce and Kuba. Vladimir was in fourth place until a crash in the penultimate stage forced him into retirement.
Sealine Cross County Rally / Qatar (17th – 22nd April 2016):
Just a little bit more than one week after the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge the next rally was scheduled. Three MINI ALL4 Racing and the buggy took the rocky tracks of Qatar under their wheels. Yazeed and Timo again finished second, while Vladimir and Konstantin secured the third place overall.
The Portuguese driver Ricardo Porém was back in a MINI ALL4 Racing for the first time after his success at the Baja Portalegre 2014. Together with his navigator Tom Colsoul he showed a very good performance and they were holding a position in the top 5 for a long time. But in the last stage they got stuck in the mud and slipped back to the seventh position in the overall standings. For the buggy meanwhile the rally went very good as Jutta and her German navigator Philipp Beier secured a very strong fifth place.
Good position in the FIA World Cup
After three races contested in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies two MINI ALL4 Racing hold a top 3 position in the overall standings. After his two second places in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, Yazeed is currently in second place behind Nasser Al-Attiyah. Vladimir holds the third place. This year the World Cup only features ten races because the Pharaons Rally in Egypt was cancelled due to safety reasons.
This will happen in the next few months…
More World Cup races:
In the next few months there are four FIA World Cup races on the schedule of the FIA calendar: Italian Baja (23rd-26th June 2016), Baja Aragon (Spain) (22nd-24th July 2016), Hungarian Baja (11th-14th August 2016) and Baja Poland (25th-28th August 2016). Which MINI ALL4 Racing crews will participate is not decided, yet. But we will keep you up to date on our website and our social media channels:
Silk Way Rally (08th – 24th July 2016):
After a break of three years the Silk Way Rally will be back in July. This year the organizers have created a spectacular route: The participants will race from Russia’s capital Moscow to Beijing the capital of China. This means to cover approx. 10.000km within 15 days! Which MINI ALL4 Racing crew will cross the start podium will be announced in the next few weeks.
New MINI ALL4 Racing driver
Yazeed Al-Rajhi: The driver from Saudi Arabia already raced a MINI ALL4 Racing some years ago and returned to X-raid after the Dakar rally 2016. Yazeed already took two second places this season. You can follow him on his social media channels: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and more information about him on our website.
A.S.O. announces Dakar 2017 route:
In the middle of April the Dakar organizer A.S.O. presented the new route for the Dakar rally 2017 in Paris. Participating countries in the next edition will be: Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. On the 2nd January 2017 the legendary Dakar rally will start for its 39th edition in the capital of Paraguay, Asuncion. Rest day will take place in Bolivia’s capital La Paz (8th January), while the finish will be on the 16th January again in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina.
MINI ALL4 Racing on ice:
Also in the middle of April we put our MINI ALL4 Racing on very unusual terrain: We traveled to the icy and snowy roads in the far north of Lapland. International journalists had the chance to drive the MINI ALL4 Racing by themselves and have a race-taxi-ride with Harry, Mikko or Nani behind the wheel. Also Rauno Altonen was on-site – the Finn won the famous Rallye Monte Carlo in 1967 with a MINI.
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