Teamwork of the MINI ALL4 Racing crews
• Menzies and Al-Rajhi finish fifth and sixth respectively ,
• Vasilyev secures second place
In the Italian Baja, the fourth round on the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup calendar, the two MINI ALL4 Racing Crews temporarily held very promising positions. But rain and the rocky track caused problems and so, Bryce Menzies (USA) / Tom Colsoul (BEL) had to settle for fifth, in the short event, with their team-mates Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) and Timo Gottschalk (GER) finishing right behind them in sixth. Meanwhile, Russian pairing Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov took a BMW X3 CC to the fine second place.
With the penultimate stage contested, Menzies and Colsoul held the overall lead. “Due to the rain, the fourth special stage was extremely slippery but we were able to pass many rivals, nevertheless,” Menzies said later. Their team-mates Al-Rajhi and Gottschalk held fourth as they lost time when slipping into a ditch. And in the final special stage, the Saudi had to stop twice to change a damaged tyre. Menzies also had to stop due to a tyre damage and admitted: “We needed a lot of time for changing the tyre.” Later, the US-American got stuck in a mud hole and Al-Rajhi / Gottschalk stopped to help their team-mates.
Vasilyev and Zhiltsov opted for a careful approach and held fourth position at the end of day two. And they also didn’t push to the max in the final two special stages – to finish second, in the end. “In Italy you have to be fully focused throughout the event,” revealed Vasilyev. “We took it somewhat easy, made nearly no mistakes and got through well.”
The fifth FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup round, Spain’s Baja Aragon, will be held from 22nd to 24th July, 2016. Meanwhile the team will participate in the Silk Way Rally, which kicks off on the 8th July in Moscow and ends on the 24th July in Beijing – the same day like the Baja Aragon.