Silk Way Rally: Yazeed Al-Rajhi wins in his MINI JCW Rally
- Nani Roma also showed a good performance
- Second win in the season for Al-Rajhi
After seven days of cross-country action in Russia, the MINI John Cooper Works Rally pairing Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) / Timo Gottschalk (GER) secured the overall win in the Silk Way Rally. Meanwhile, Joan ‚Nani‘ Roma and Alex Haro (both ESP) in the second MINI JCW Rally finished 19th, thus clinching a top-20 result, in the end.
Al-Rajhi and Gottschalk took the overall lead on day four and defended it throughout the event until they crossed the finish line in Moscow. The Pairing could not celebrate a stage win but convinced with their consistency. Other than his rivals, Al-Rajhi did not encounter any major problems in the special stages and the MINI John Cooper Works ran perfectly.
Roma and Haro also had what it would have taken to secure a top result. But due to the health problems in special stage one and the subsequent massive time penalty Roma dropped back to the end of the standings. On the following days, however, he demonstrated what would have been possible. He even won stage five and worked his way back up to the top 20.
“We are delighted with having won the Silk Way Rally although it was somewhat shorter than originally scheduled. The event was perfectly organised and the special stages represented true challenges – while the weather certainly could have been better. We demonstrated that you do not need to try to win special stages to win a rally – concentration and consistency also are crucial factors. We found a good rhythm and knew which stages offered us the opportunity to push and gain time and where we should opt for a more conservative approach.”
“It is great to have made it to Moscow. My start into the rally did not run as planned but at the end of the day I am happy nevertheless as we delivered in fine style. To me, the second place in yesterday’s stage was more valuable than my stage win. We were the first to start into the special stage and Alex did a great job. It goes without saying that we would have preferred to be a factor in the battle for the overall win but we covered a lot of kilometres in the rally – and that is important for us. Big thanks to X-raid for their MINI that ran without any problems.”