Rallye du Maroc: 5 x MINI in the top 10
· Nani Roma secures a podium
· Przygonski happy about having finished fourth
For the X-raid Team, the Rallye du Maroc in Morrocco proved to be a pretty successful event. Five of the six MINI vehicles that contested the rally also made it to the top 10. Joan ‘Nani’ Roma / Alex Haro won the final stage with their MINI ALL4 Racing to secure third position in the overall ranking behind Nasser Al-Attiyah and Sebastien Loeb. Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) finished right behind Roma, in fourth position.
“The rally wasn’t easy and I’m really happy with having finished third,” revealed Roma. “I’m happy to be back in a MINI. Alex and I didn’t take any unnecessary risks but really went for it, nevertheless. The stage win also did us good. To secure such a result in the run-up to the Dakar represents an extra dose of motivation.” Przygonski also was satisfied with his achievements: “It was a good race for us and we were involved in a fierce battle with Nani Roma. We are getting faster every day and our MINI encountered no problems whatsoever.”
For Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) and Andreas Schulz (GER), however, the rally didn’t run as they had hoped it would. “Assessing our competitiveness is really difficult,” said Hirvonen who finished seventh in the overall ranking. “The collaboration between Andy and me was just great but we encountered problems on every single day. On day one, for instance, we lost a lot of time due to three punctures and often had to cope with the dust of the cars driving ahead of us.”
The US-American pairing Bryce Menzies / Pete Mortensen finished right behind their team-mates. Menzies suffered an arm injury in the final stage but was able to finish the event, nevertheless. At the end of the five stages, Orlando Terranova and Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue (both ARG) took their MINI John Cooper Works Rally to ninth place. On day one, Terranova was hampered by a bad headache and therefore wasn’t able to push to the max. In the following stages, however, the Argentinean made up leeway and battled his way back into the top 10. At the same time, Boris Garafulic (CHI) and Filipe Palmeiro (POR) secured the fine 11th place, with their MINI ALL4 Racing.
The next event of the X-raid Teams 2017 calendar is the Baja Portalegre 500 in late october.
*The overall results might be subject to change, due to an ongoing review of the timings.
Overall result after SS5*
1. N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA) Toyota – 10h 39m 34s
2. S. Loeb (FRA) / D. Elena (MCO) Peugeot – 10h 47m 29s
3. N. Roma (ESP) / A. Haro (ESP) MINI ALL4 Racing – 11h 04m 19s
4. J. Przygonski (POL) / T. Colsoul (BEL) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 11h 09m 12s
5. V. Vasilyev (RUS) / K. Zhiltsov (RUS) MINI ALL4 Racing – 11h 22m 59s
7. M. Hirvonen (FIN) / A. Schulz (GER) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 11h 45m 47s
8. B. Menzies (USA) / P. Mortensen (USA) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 11h 50m 26s
9. O. Terranova (ARG) / R. Graue (AG) – MINI ALL4 Racing – 12h 06m 37s
11. B. Garafulic (CHI) / F. Palmeiro (POR) – MINI ALL4 Racing – 12h 09m 07s