Published on January 8th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
MINI maintains 4th place hold in Dakar
Day Six (Stage 5) saw the Dakar Rally competitors race at the highest altitude ever known in the history of the Dakar on their way to crossing the border into Bolivia. Bad weather conditions reduce the final leg distance. Terranova poised to break into top ten – three more MINI ALL4 Racing crews on course to join him. For the leading MINI ALL4 Racing (#300) crew of Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) and co-pilot Mathieu Baumel (FRA), Stage 5 also brought some fast and furious racing. After maintaining a constant third through six of the eight waypoints, the final stretch to the finish point eventually left Al-Attiyah and his AXION X-raid Team MINI ALL4 Racing in fourth place at the line. This result now places the defending Dakar champions fourth overall with eight stages remaining.
As expected, the overnight Marathon stage, where no outside technical assistance is allowed, caused no problems for the race-proven MINI ALL4 Racing cars. Once again Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) and co-driver Michel Périn (FRA) in the #315 MINI ALL4 Racing set out across the high mountainous landscape to strengthen their position in the overall standings. True to form Hirvonen drove a perfectly executed race to consolidate his seventh place overall. If there was a possibility of making up a place then it was lost with the enforced reduction in distance from waypoint 8 to the finish line. To shorten the last section to 321km was, in fact, a good decision by Dakar officials because serious storm movements at the finish line could have played havoc with what was a good day’s competition.
The other two AXION X-raid Team crews also had reason to smile after Stage 5. The Argentinean duo of Orlando Terranova / Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue (#310) pushed hard to pick up yet more positions. Completing Stage 5 in 10th now puts this determined crew 12th overall. Spanish duo Joan ‘Nani’ Roma / Alex Haro (#304) also set about making up lost ground. By taking on the thin mountain air, rocks and undulating surface they completed Stage 5 in 12th. This effort saw them lift up the leader board from 15th to 12th overall. This was a good result considering Roma felt the effects of the high altitude.
Threatening to break into the top ten alongside Terranova is a charging group of MINI ALL4 Racing privateers. Dutch crew Erik van Loon and Wouter Rosegaar (Van Loon Racing #306) are comfortable in 13th, just 3:26m ahead of Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and Andrei Rudnitski (BLR) of ORLEN Team (#327). Dakar first-timer Harry Hunt (GBR) is gaining in Dakar experience with every kilometre and currently lies 14th overall.
2016 Dakar Rally: Day Six, Stage 5, San Salvador de Juyjuy – Uyuni, 638km. MINI ALL 4 Racing standings:
|4||Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)||Mathieu Baumel (FRA)||300||AXION X-raid Team||013:31:41|
|7||Mikko Hirvonen (FIN)||Michel Périn (FRA)||315||AXION X-raid Team||013:40:49|
|12||Orlando Terranova (ARG)||Bernardo “Ronnie” Graue (ARG)||310||AXION X-raid Team||014:10:56|
|13||Erik van Loon (NDL)||Wouter Rosegaar (NDL)||306||Van Loon Racing||014:11:41|
|14||Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL)||Andrei Rudnitski (BLR)||327||ORLEN Team||014:15:01|
|15||Harry Hunt (GB)||Andreas Schulz (GER)||323||X-raid Team||014:15:14|
|17||Joan ‘Nani’ Roma (ESP)||Alex Haro (ESP)||304||AXION X-raid Team||014:29:04|
|18||Boris Garafulic (CHL)||Filipe Palmeiro (POR)||313||X-raid Team||014:30:36|
|20||Adam Malysz (POL)||Xavier Panseri (FRA)||325||ORLEN Team||0014:39:54|
|TBA||Nazareno Lopez (ARG)||Sergio Lafuente (URU)||351||X-raid Team|