Mini finishes fifth in Dakar 2018

Przygonski and Colsoul were running sixth at the mid-rally rest stop in La Paz, Bolivia; they moved up to fifth on stage thirteen a day before the end of the rally. The next Mini in the finishing order was the JCW Rally piloted by Boris Garafulic and Filipe Palmeiro. They were thirteenth at the end, having moved up from 26th at the break. Mikko Hirvonen and his co-driver Andreas Schulz finished nineteenth in a John Cooper Works Buggy. They had started thirteenth at the break. Orlando Terranova and Bernardo Graue in a JCW Rally, who had been classified 31st at the break, climbed to twentieth in the final finishing order.

The remaining three Minis did not make it to the end. Yazeed Al Rajhi and co-driver Timo Gottschalk in a JCW Buggy did not finish stage seven; they were disqualified by the organizers. The other two Minis had dropped out before the break. They were the JCW Rally of Nani Roma and Alex Haro and the Buggy of Bryce Menzies and Peter Mortensen. The three non-finishing Minis had ample company; just 43 of over 100 cars on the entry list finished the rally.

X-Raid team principal Sven Quandt said “It was quite a mixed Dakar; from the drivers’ side I think there were unfortunately some mistakes that pulled us back quite a bit, but on the technical side we were astonished. The new Mini John Cooper Works Buggy was really impressive and lasted without any problems. Performance-wise it really showed that this is the right weapon for the future but the Mini John Cooper Works Rally was also good and, until Nani dropped out early due to a big hit in the car, we were in a good position. From a safety side, the cars were incredible; you could nearly make any roll and nobody was in jeopardy. Even if the car was 20 or 40kg heavier it didn’t matter because we had super-safe cars and that’s the most important thing for this race. Kuba did an incredible performance – driving very steady all the way through from the beginning. Fifth place is an incredible result for him. He shadowed the leaders throughout the race, getting closer to the front and nobody was watching him. He and Tom made no mistakes – this is how you do a Dakar.”

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