Sep 17, 2016
Dear X-raid Fans,
The next quarter of the year is over and we experienced quite a lot, in the past months. Our MINI ALL4 Racing vehicles contested four Bajas in Europe and the long Silk Way Rally from Moscow to Beijing.
Here in Trebur we slowly but surely are beginning with our preparations for the Dakar – to make sure to have our racing cars and service vehicles ready in time for the shipment in November at Le Havre. But before this will be the case, quite a lot of things will happen at X-raid. The next fan news mail won’t arrive in your mailbox before late November but we will keep you up-to-date via our website, the press releases and our social media channels.
This happened in the past months…
Italian Baja, Italy (24th to 26th June, 2016):
After the Sealine Rally in Qatar, the off-road racing calendar featured a long break. Nearly two months later, the X-raid service trucks were equipped again. The event in Italy was contested by two MINI ALL4 Racing pairings: Yazeed Al-Rajhi / Timo Gottschalk and Bryce Menzies / Tom Colsoul. Furthermore, a BMW X3 CC raced by Vladimir Vasilyev / Konstantin Zhiltsov also competed in the Italian Baja.
After two days – on Saturday evening – the chances of the three pairings looked bright as all the three held top-five positions and Bryce even was the leader, in his only second rally raid event. The Sunday, however, brought several unpleasant surprises. Yazeed was stopped twice by punctures and later helped Bryce who had got stuck in a mud hole. So, Vladimir finished second, in the end, with Yazeed and Bryce coming fifth and sixth respectively.
Silk Way Rally, Russia / Kazakhstan / China (8th to 24th July, 2016):
Following a multi-year break, the Silk Way Rally was back on the calendar in 2016 with its sixth edition. More than 10.000 kilometres from Moscow to Beijing. An adventure fascinating numerous drivers and so, a total of five MINI ALL4 Racing vehicles started into the long and exhausting rally, with all the five vehicles making it to the top 10.
The competitors had to cope with the most different terrains: from WRC-like special stages through mountain routes to dunes and sand. After more than two weeks, Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk celebrated their runner-up finish behind Cyril Despres. Third position was secured by Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov, followed by Harry Hunt / Andreas Schulz and Aidyn Rakhimbayev / Anton Nikolaev. Bauyrzhan Issabayev – who contested his first event as MINI ALL4 Racing driver – and Vladimir Demyanenko finished 10th.
Baja Aragon, Spain (22nd to 24th July, 2016)
Simultaneously with the Silk Way Rally, Spain staged the Baja Aragon, the fifth round of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup. For a long time, Mikko Hirvonen and Michel Périn were involved in the battle for the win but on Sunday, a damaged tyre cost them too much time and Mikko had to settle for finishing third. Meanwhile, Orlando Terranova contested the event with Tom Colsoul. They also had the chance of securing a podium finish but just as Hirvonen / Périn they had to cope with a dose of bad luck, on Sunday. A time penalty for speeding and a puncture made them drop back to fifth. Jutta Kleinschmidt and Philipp Beier once again competed in the Baja in the buggy to cover more kilometres with the vehicle. They also lost time due to a damaged tyre and consequently finished 12th.
Hungarian Baja, Hungary, (12th to 14th August, 2016)
In Hungary we had a really successful weekend: Mikko celebrated his first victory with the MINI ALL4 Racing and Bryce finished second. On the way to his victory, Mikko won all the special stages apart from the prologue. Erik and Wouter, however, had to cope with a dose of bad luck. They got stuck in a ditch, resulting in a torn off wheel which forced them into retirement.
Baja Poland, Poland (26th to 28th August, 2016)
Another successful event for us. Krzysztof Holowczyc finished second and was just pipped in the battle for the win by Nasser Al-Attiyah. A great achievement considered that he hadn’t contested an off-road rally for more than one year. Meanwhile, the other MINI ALL4 Racing pairings also made it to the top 10, with Kuba and Erik finishing fourth and fifth respectively and Boris finishing ninth.
This will happen in the next few months…
The final World Cup rounds:
This year’s FIA World Cup calendar features just two more events: the Rallye du Maroc in Morocco in early October. This desert rally traditionally is used by the teams as final preparation for the Dakar in January. And in late October the short Baja Portalegre in Portugal will represent the season finale. We will keep you up-to-date via our website and our social-media channels:
Preparations for the 2017 Dakar:
Although it’s only mid of September, there are just two months to go until the racing cars and service trucks will hit the road from the workshop in Trebur to Le Havre, France. There, they will be shipped for the journey to South America. But there still is a lot of work to be done up to this point in time: All the vehicles have to be prepared for the demanding two weeks in Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. The trucks have to be equipped with all the spare parts and tyres the team will need during the rally. In November we will announce the drivers contesting the Dakar with a MINI ALL4 Racing!
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