2018 Dakar // SS4: Two MINI John Cooper Works Buggies make it to the top 10
Jan 9, 2018
Hirvonen finishes fourth, Al-Rajhi ninth.
Orlando Terranova drops back due to a rollover.
In the fourth stage, around the Peruvian city of Juan de Marcona, Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) and Andreas Schulz (GER) compensated for the bad luck they had to cope with yesterday by securing fourth place with their MINI John Cooper Works Buggy. Their team-mated Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) / Timo Gottschalk (GER) in a second MINI JCW Buggy also made it to the top 10 by finishing ninth. Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) came 12th with their team-mates Boris Garafulic (CHI) and Filipe Palmeiro (POR) following right behind. . Orlando Terranova and Ronnie Graue (both ARG) somersaulted at the beginning of the special stage but could continue.
“I’m really delighted,” Hirvonen beamed in the X-raid service park. “Finally we were able to demonstrate the true potential of the buggy. Although we had to look for a waypoint two times and once we had to stop to reduce the tyre pressure.” With his great result the Finn worked his way up to 12th position overall. Al-Rajhi also had to stop before entering the dunes to adapt his tyre pressure. Due to delivery delays, the tyre-pressure system was built into the buggy only late and couldn’t be tested prior to the Dakar. “Furthermore, our accelerator broke but we were able to repair the damage quickly by using another part of the car. But altogether things went clearly better than yesterday.”
For Przygonski, however, it was a tough day. “A lot of things happened out there and the stage also proved to be difficult for us,” said the young Pole who now holds 10th position in the overall standings. “We had three punctures and consequently, our spare tyres were used up. From that point in time I opted for an even more careful approach. And the dunes also were really challenging. Occasionally, the sand was so soft that that you couldn’t go over but had to drive around it.”
The day was started with a special starting procedure at the beach not far from San Juan de Marcona: four cars at a time started side by side into the special stage, with the groups starting in 10-minute intervals. After 16 kilometres along the Pacific, the competitors turned to the heartland for the other 310 kilometres.
Terranova and Graue somersaulted in a riverbed, short after having left the Pacific coach. The pairing was able to repair the car without the help of third parties and could continue for the time being. But during the accident, Orly was hurt by a bit of broken glass of the broken windscreen in his eye. Fortunately, an X-raid team medic was able to remove it at a service point. With Bryce Menzies, Nani Roma und now Orlando Terranova, each of the best-placed MINI drivers at a time had to cope with a major dose of bad luck.
Tomorrow’s stage will take the field to Arequipa, the final stop in Peru. It will be a long day for the drivers: the distance to be covered amounts to 934 kilometres, 268 of them against the clock. Motorbikes / quads on the one side and cars / trucks on the other will contest the stage on different routes. And it goes without saying that the competitors once again will have to cope with dunes.
Dakar 2018 Ergebnis SS4
1. S. Loeb (FRA) / D. Elena (MCO) Peugeot – 3h 57m 53s
2. C. Sainz (ESP) / L. Cruz (ESP) Peugeot – 3h 59m 28s
3. S. Peterhansel (FRA) / J.-P. Cottret (FRA) Peugeot – 4h 01m 09s
4. M. Hirvonen (FIN) / A. Schulz (GER) MINI JCW Buggy – 4h 32m 29s
5. A. Eugenio (ITA) / S. Delaunay (FRA) SMG – 4h 33m 39s
9. Y. Al-Rajhi (KSA) / T. Gottschalk (GER) ) MINI JCW Buggy – 4h 40m 23s
12. J. Przygonski (POL) / T. Colsoul (BEL) MINI JCW Rally – 4h 52m 26s
14. B. Garafulic (CHI) / F. Palmeiro (POR) MINI JCW Rally – 5h 06m 15s
31. O. Terranova (ARG) / R. Graue (ARG) MINI JCW Rally – 7h 04m 53s
Dakar 2018 Gesamtwertung nach SS4
1. S. Peterhansel (FRA) / J.-P. Cottret (FRA) Peugeot – 10h 36m 07s
2. S. Loeb (FRA) / D. Elena (MCO) Peugeot – 10h 43m 02s
3. C. Sainz (ESP) / L. Cruz (ESP) Peugeot – 10h 49m 13s
4. N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA) Toyota – 11h 34m 55s
5. B. Ten Brinke (NDL) / M. Périn (FRA) Toyota – 11h 46m 31s
10. J. Przygonski (POL) / T. Colsoul (BEL) MINI JCW Rally – 12h 11m 37s
12. M. Hirvonen (FIN) / A. Schulz (GER) MINI JCW Buggy – 13h 15m 49s
16. O. Terranova (ARG) / R. Graue (ARG) MINI JCW Rally – 14h 15m 10s
28. Y. Al-Rajhi (KSA) / T. Gottschalk (GER) MINI JCW Buggy – 19h 45m 06s
29. B. Garafulic (CHI) / F. Palmeiro (POR) MINI JCW Rally – 23h 48m 10s