Published on January 7th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
MINI’s top team is now in third place for Dakar
A determined but consistent race reaps Al-Attiyah and Baumel third place overall. Nine MINI ALL4 Racing take up residency in the top 20, of which five make up the top 15. Terranova and Roma fight back to reclaim positions. Munich. Day Five (Stage 4) ended on a high for reigning Dakar champions Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) and co-pilot Mathieu Baumel (FRA) when they took their AXION X-raid Team MINI ALL4 racing (#300) to fourth place at the finish point. Today’s result now puts this remarkable duo in third position overall and within striking distance of leader Sebastien Loeb.
To say the pair had a consistent but fast race on the first high altitude stage is an understatement – staying within the top five group at every waypoint along the 429km Special Stage. Al-Attiyah will now look to reducing the 11:09m time variation on Stage 5, the second part of the first Marathon stage. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) and co-driver Michel Périn (FRA) in the #315 MINI ALL4 Racing didn’t fare as well as they have done in the previous three stages. They completed Stage 4 in 12th. The knock-on effect of this is a slip of three places to seventh overall and a good place to be given that this is Hirvonen’s first attempt at the infamous Dakar Rally.
With Stage 4 being the first full distance leg of racing at this year’s Dakar Rally – the first day without any major weather-related problems – all of the competitors had the opportunity to stretch their legs and cars. Possibly none more so than the AXION X-raid Team crews of Argentinean pairing Orlando Terranova / Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue (#310) and Spanish duo Joan ‘Nani’ Roma / Alex Haro (#304). With a fantastic display of cross-country rally driving using all their time-served skills, Terranova and Roma pushed their MINI ALL4 Racing hard. Terranova claimed another eight positions from yesterday, moving from 23rd to 15th overall. Roma nearly mirrored this achievement by jumping from 30th to 23rd.
Currently six MINI ALL4 Racing privateers have taken command of positions 10-20. The highest placed crew is that of Dutch pairing Erik van Loon and Wouter Rosegaar (Van Loon Racing #306). Their considerable Dakar experience will surely be tested to the full over the coming days by the remainder of the MINI ALL4 Racing family, all of which are currently breathing down the Dutch duo’s necks…
2016 Dakar Rally: Day Five, Stage 4, San Salvador de Juyjuy – San Salvador de Juyjuy, 429km. MINI ALL 4 Racing standings:
|3||Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)||Mathieu Baumel (FRA)||300||AXION X-raid Team||009:56:00|
|7||Mikko Hirvonen (FIN)||Michel Périn (FRA)||315||AXION X-raid Team||010:00:33|
|13||Erik van Loon (NDL)||Wouter Rosegaar (NDL)||306||Van Loon Racing||010:24:50|
|14||Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL)||Andrei Rudnitski (BLR)||327||ORLEN Team||010:26:53|
|15||Orlando Terranova (ARG)||Bernardo “Ronnie” Graue (ARG)||310||AXION X-raid Team||010:28:07|
|17||Harry Hunt (GB)||Andreas Schulz (GER)||323||X-raid Team||010:31:39|
|18||Adam Malysz (POL)||Xavier Panseri (FRA)||325||ORLEN Team||0010:32:58|
|19||Boris Garafulic (CHL)||Filipe Palmeiro (POR)||313||X-raid Team||010:35:54|
|20||Nazareno Lopez (ARG)||Sergio Lafuente (URU)||351||X-raid Team||010:39:12|
|23||Joan ‘Nani’ Roma (ESP)||Alex Haro (ESP)||304||AXION X-raid Team||010:45:57|