Successful season with exciting final and two World Cup titles for X-raid
- Season finale ends with a total of six World Cup titles for team, driver and co-driver
- Peterhansel and Terranova win FIA World Cup drivers’ category
In 2019, X-raid can look back on one of the most successful years in a long time: After Nani Roma reached second place at the 2019 Dakar in Peru in January, Stéphane Peterhansel won the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup title in the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy in early October. Two weeks later Orlando “Orly” Terranova celebrated his overall victory in the World Cup for Cross Country Bajas and completed one of the most successful seasons in team history. In addition, the navigators Andrea Peterhansel and Bernardo “Ronnie” Graue were able to secure the World Cup title for co-drivers. Since its foundation X-raid has won 13 World Cup titles with different drivers.
Over the past nine months, the MINI JCW Buggy, MINI JCW Rally and MINI ALL4 Racing have amassed eight victories between them. These successes led to X-raid winning the team title in both World Cups. X-raid contested in 13 races in twelve countries, fielding a total of 32 cars in the process. But not only the team’s own outings were supported as the X-raid Team also serviced various customer teams at many rallies.
Two World Cups – two wins
Shortly after the end of last season, the FIA announced that it would be reorganising the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies. The previous World Cup was divided into the World Cup for Cross Country Bajas and the World Cup for Cross Country Rallies.
The first success came as early as the start of March: Jakub “Kuba” Przygonski and Timo Gottschalk claimed the maiden victory for the MINI JCW Buggy at the Dubai International Baja. This was the Pole’s first rally in the two-wheel drive desert racer. The MINI JCW Buggy has been a member of the X-raid family since 2017 and contested its first rally at the 2018 Dakar. For the rest of the season in the World Cup for Cross Country Bajas, the Pole returned to the MINI JCW Rally, which was better suited for the narrow and winding Baja routes.
Andrea and Stéphane Peterhansel came into this season with just one goal: to improve their teamwork in the car. After all, Andrea only switched to the co-driver seat next to her husband at the beginning of this year. However, one victory and a second place meant the couple suddenly found themselves in contention for the title of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies. They travelled to the final round in Morocco trailing championship leader Nasser Al-Attiyah by nine points. In the dramatic closing stages, they climbed up to fourth place, picking up enough points to overhaul Al-Attiyah, who failed to finish the rally. Andrea and Stéphane Peterhansel are the first married couple that win a cross country world cup title. Despite having 13 Dakar wins to his name, this was the first overall World Cup victory of Stéphane’s career.
Then there was another thrilling conclusion of the World Cup for Cross Country Bajas: Just three points separated the top three drivers in the overall standings. Vladimir Vasilyev headed to the season finale in Portugal with 112 points – Terranova trailed him by just one point, with Przygonski hot on his heels with 109 points. Terranova did not actually compete in the first two events of the season but raced into contention on the back of three victories in a row. Success number four of the season, at the Baja Portalegre, clinched the title for the Argentinean driver – the first title of his career. Przygonski, who won last year’s World Cup, triumphed in two races on his way to finishing runner-up in the 2019 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas.
Expansion of the distribution network on the Iberian Peninsula
But X-raid has more to announce than only sporting success, as since June X-raid is officially cooperating with the MRacing team, led by Manuel Russo Jr as distribution partner for the Iberian Peninsula in order to be able to better serve potential customers in Spain and Portugal. The staff has been trained by X-raid, in order to guarantee that the cars, built by X-raid, are as well prepared as possible.
At the Baja Aragon, Luis J. Recuenco and Victor M. Alijas secured a ticket for the Dakar Rally in a MINI ALL4 Racing looked after by MRacing. Of all the participants registered for the “Road to Dakar”, they were the fastest.
“It has been a special season and we are delighted to have won both world cups. They both went down to the wire this year and we saw some great and exciting rallying. Our MINI cars were consistently among the front-runners, perhaps even the fastest and most reliable. That is very positive news for us ahead of the Dakar in January.”
|2nd place Dakar Rally 2019
Nani Roma / Alex Haro
|First victory of the MINI JCW Buggy – Dubai International Baja 2019
Kuba Przygonski / Timo Gottschalk
|Winner FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies 2019 – Team
X-raid MINI JCW Team
|Winner FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies 2019 – Drivers
|Winner FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies 2019 – Co-Pilots
|Winner FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas 2019 – Team
X-raid MINI JCW Team
|Winner FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas 2019 – Drivers
|Winner FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas 2019 – Co-Pilots
Bernardo “Ronnie” Graue
More photos available at press.x-raid.de.