- Third, fourth and fifth place for the MINI JCW Rally
- The marathon stage is taking place tomorrow and the day after
The third stage from Marcona to Arequipa was a successful one for the MINI John Cooper Works Rally crews. Jakub Kuba Przygonski (POL) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) claimed a very good third place. Behind them, Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) / Timo Gottschalk (GER) and Joan Nani Roma / Alex Haro (both ESP) from the X-raid MINI John Cooper Works Rally Team crossed the line in fourth and fifth positions. Stéphane Peterhansel and David Castera from the X-raid MINI John Cooper Works Buggy team claimed victory in today’s third stage. Boris Garafulic (CHI) and Filipe Palmeiro (POR) completed the stage in 14thplace after some problems, a result that sees them in 13thposition overall.
Przygonski and Colsoul continued to put on a very good performance, starting from 13thplace and working their way up from waypoint to waypoint. They quickly reached third position and defended this until the finish. “We had a good stage without major problems and errors,” explains Przygonski. “We were sorry about what happened to Carlos, but if he hadn’t been where he was, then we would have driven into that invisible hole. We had a flat tire later but the performance was spot on”. Przygonski and Colsoul are in fifth place overall.
Al-Rajhi and Gottschalk are also performing very well in these early days of the Dakar 2019. They secured fourth place today, which helped them move up to second position in the overall standings. “It went well for us but there were two moments where we lost some time,” reports the Saudi driver. “We had a bad flat tire and then we caught a big rock with the front of the car.”
It was a tough day for Roma and Haro. They were due to start from second place but had to open the stage after Sebastian Loeb had a problem. “That was a very hard stage,” says Roma, who is now in fourth place in the overall standings. “It was virtually all dunes in the early part of the stage – not a good day to be starting first. Navigation was very difficult, we had to search for two waypoints and lost some time. The roadbook was not entirely clear at some points. We had a flat tire in the dunes. I hit a stone when trying to overtake a motorcyclist. If you take all of that into account, we can be very pleased with our result.”
After the special stage, the crews still had to spend a few hours on the connecting stage to Arequipa. Today, the mechanics and engineers must prepare the cars for the next two days. The marathon stage is scheduled for tomorrow evening and the drivers and co-drivers will have to do without the support of their teams.