MINI scores strong result ahead of the marathon stages.
Munich (DE). Nasser Al-Attiyah (QT) and his co-driver Mathieu Baumel (FR) are still the men to beat at the 2015 Dakar Rally. The duo in the MINI ALL4 Racing also won the sixth stage at the toughest event in motorsports. It has been their third stage win at this year’s Dakar so far. Al-Attiyah/Baumel have further extended their lead in the overall classification and are now 11:12 minutes ahead of their closest rivals De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz.
“We did a good job and it’s a good day for us again”, Al-Attiyah said. “I actually didn’t sweat today. We enjoyed our day and we just have to keep to our target.”
Stage six was again short but very demanding. It was characterized by two completely different kinds of soil: The first part of the stage was held on fast gravel roads, towards the stage end the cars had to cross large dunes with very fine sand. Navigation was again the key to success.
Joan “Nani” Roma/Michel Périn (ES/FR) once again proved to be great navigators. The 2014 Dakar winners made up a lot of ground on the final kilometres of today’s stage scoring a strong 3rd position. “Actually, the special stage wasn’t that bad. Only the beginning was no fun,” Roma said. “The dunes were nice but the sun was really high and so, I just couldn’t see if there were holes or other dangers.” The marathon stage definitely will be thrilling. Having to survive it without any service will be a kind of weird.”
Krzysztof Holowczyc/Xavier Panseri (PL/FR) are still driving at a consistent pace at this year’s Dakar. The duo defended their fourth place in the overall classification. “At the beginning we were given a good shaking and that’s something I really dislike,” Holowczyc said. “But afterwards, there were several really nice technical sections – very fast. There, I had a lot of fun. The dunes were okay but we had a slow puncture and had to be careful to make sure that the tyre didn’t slip off the wheel. I think that I will have to drive somewhat faster, on the coming days. I could defend my position but I want to work my way further up.” Erik van Loon/Wouter Rosegaar (NL/NL) in another MINI ALL4 Racing are also still within the top ten. They are currently sixth overall.
The upcoming weekend will definitely be the toughest challenge of this year’s Dakar. According to the new regulations the participants have to master the marathon stages – two stages in a row without any technical support from their mechanics or engineers. No more than three spare tires are allowed to be carried within the car. The drivers will have to be extremely careful not to damage their tires or cars. The marathon stages will undoubtedly be decisive for the outcome of this year’s Dakar.
Leg seven will lead from Iquique in Chile towards the northeast to Uyuni in Bolivia. The 321 kilometre-long stage seven will be held on mountain roads on a high plateau at an altitude of up to 3,900 metres. The co-drivers will have to read the road-book with great care in light of the many junctions on the route.
Overall classification after leg 6 (Top 6).
01 Al-Attiyah/Baumel – MINI ALL4 Racing – 19:30:44h
02 De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz – 19:41:56h
03 Al Rajhi/Gottschalk – 19:59:28h
04 Holowczyc/Panseri – MINI ALL4 Racing – 20:31:37h
05 Ten Brinke/Colsoul – 20:35:07h
06 Van Loon/Rosegaar – MINI ALL4 Racing – 20:37:27h
Day 7 (10 January 2015).
Start/finish: Iquique/Uyuni (Leg 7)
Total distance: 717 km, Special stage: 321 km, Liaison: 396 km
MINI ALL4 Racing 2015 Dakar Rally Lineup.
Monster Energy Rally Raid Team.
#300 Nani Roma/Michel Périn (ES/FR)
#305 Orlando Terranova/Bernardo „Ronnie“ Graue (AR/AR)
#306 Krzysztof Holowczyc/Xavier Panseri (PL/FR)
#310 Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RU/RU)
#314 Erik van Loon/Wouter Rosegaar (NL/NL)
#319 Boris Garafulic/Filipe Palmeiro (CL/PT)
#329 Aidyn Rakhimbayev/Anton Nikolaev (KZ/RU)
#332 Zhou Yong/Andreas Schulz (CN/DE)
#334 Stephan Schott/Holm Schmidt (DE/DE)
Qatar Rally Team.
#301 Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel (QT/FR)