Qatar Rally – Kuba Przygonski & MINI ALL4 Racing 2nd
· Abu Issa takes his MINI ALL4 Racing to fifth place
· FIA World Cup trip across the Arabian Peninsula is over
Together with his Belgian co-driver Tom Colsoul, Poland’s Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski celebrated the best result since he switched from motorbike to car racing in 2015. In the MINI ALL4 Racing, he won two stages and secured the second place in the overall standings behind Nasser Al-Attiyah. Meanwhile, Mohamed Abu Issa (QAT) and Xavier Panseri (FRA) secured fifth position in the rally, just 12 seconds behind the fourth-placed pairing. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) and Timo Gottschalk (GER), however, had to cope with a major dose of bad luck, in their MINI John Cooper Works Rally, and couldn’t finish the rally.
In Qatar Przygonski confirmed the good performances he had convinced with in January in the Dakar. The young Pole won the second and the final stage, thus making it to the second step on the podium. “A great rally for us,” beamed Przygonski. “We pushed right from the start. The navigation was difficult but Tom did a really great job. The MINI also once again ran flawlessly. It was a tough battle up to the final stage. So, we really went for it in the final stage und succeeded in securing second position. Really amazing: we raced for more than 10 hours and in the end, our lead over Poulter in third position amounted to just 28 seconds.”
Abu Issa and Panseri made it to the top five in four of the five special stages. Only in the Super Special stage at the beginning of the event they had to settle for finishing seventh. Unfortunately, the young driver from Qatar wasn’t exactly lucky: at the end of the day, he was 12 seconds slower than the fourth-placed pairing and finished fifth. To date, Abu Issa had secured to third places in World Cup rounds. “It goes without saying that I’m not happy with having finished fifth. We could have secured second or third place. Without the tyre damages and the navigation mistakes we would be further up in the rankings. We delivered in good style but we just had too much bad luck. In my home race I really would have loved to make it to the podium,” admitted Abu Issa.” Al-Rajhi and Gottschalk couldn’t finish one of the final three special stages. In addition to technical problems, the pairing also was hampered by tyre damages.
Following the three events on the Arabian Peninsula (Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar), the FIA World Cup will make a one-month break. The fifth round on the calendar is the Rally Kazakhstan from 20th to 27th May, 2017.
Qatar Cross Country Rally 2017 Gesamtergebnis nach SS5:
1. N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA) Toyota – 13h 48m 09s
2. J. Przygonski (POL) / T. Colsoul (BEL) MINI ALL4 Racing – 13h 55m 11s
3. L. Poulter (ZAF) / D. Von Zitzewitz (GER) Toyota – 13h 55m 39s
5. M. Abu Issa (QAT) / X. Panseri (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 14h 02m 53s
Qatar Cross Country Rally 2017 Ergebnis SS5:
1. J. Przygonski (POL) / T. Colsoul (BEL) MINI ALL4 Racing – 3h 21m 23s
2. N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA) Toyota – 3h 23m 42s
3. L. Poulter (ZAF) / D. Von Zitzewitz (GER) Toyota – 3h 25m 14s
4. M. Abu Issa (QAT) / X. Panseri (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 3h 25m 36s