ADDC: Convincing performance of the MINI JCW Rally Plus

ADDC: Convincing performance of the MINI JCW Rally Plus


  • Halpern secures fourth place
  • Joao Ferreira takes tenth in the X-raid YXZ1000R Turbo Prototype

Sand and dunes were the main ingredients of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, the second event of the FIA World Rally Raid Championship. Just the right mixture for the MINI John Cooper Works Rally Plus. Sebastian Halpern and Bernardo “Ronnie” Graue were able to add important points to their WRC account with fourth place in the T1 classification. Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi finished his home rally in fifth place (T1 classification) together with Ola Floene. Denis Krotov and Konstantin Zhiltsov had worked their way up to third overall, but an accident on the last day put an end to their podium dreams.

The two X-raid YXZ1000R Turbo Prototypes of the X-raid Yamaha supported team finished the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in the top 15, with Joao Ferreira and Filipe Palmeiro securing tenth place. Their teammates Annett Fischer and Annie Seel finished 14th in the T3 category.

For Halpern, it was the second appearance in the MINI JCW Rally Plus. After his ninth place at the 2023 Dakar, he secured fourth place in the T1 class and fifth overall in Abu Dhabi. He benefited above all from his consistency. While many of his competitors lost a lot of time due to problems or dropped out, he always reached the finish in the top eight.

Sebastian Halpern: “The rally was physically very demanding. The first three days were extremely hot in the vehicle. We really did a master’s in dune driving here – over 1,000 dune kilometres in five days. We have learned a lot. Yesterday we unfortunately entered a wrong valley and lost important minutes. I’m still happy with the result.”

Sheikh Al-Qassimi celebrated his debut in the MINI JCW Rally Plus at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. He had contested the Dakar in the MINI JCW Buggy. The driver from Abu Dhabi made it through the stages of his home rally without any major problems and secured fifth place.

Krotov also covered his first kilometres in the MINI JCW Rally Plus during last week’s shakedown. He also competed in the MINI JCW Buggy at the Dakar. Krotov quickly got used to the new vehicle and initially finished third overall. But on the fifth and final stage he overturned and was unable to finish the stage.

X-raid Yamaha supported Team
The X-raid Yamaha supported team was not lucky at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Ferreira had to stop on the second special stage due to a problem with the gearbox. His teammate Fischer helped out with parts and had to end the stage early afterwards. Ferreira was able to continue and thus still had a chance to score WRC points. In the end, the Portuguese secured tenth place and is now sixth in the overall World Cup standings (T3-category). The women’s duo Fischer and Seel finished 14th in the T3 category.

The next rally for X-raid Team is the Qatar International Baja from 16 – 18 March 2023.

Due to the high demand, we could have entered more vehicles in the ADDC, but we are also affected by the current global situation and supply bottlenecks, which among other things also leads to higher costs. We therefore ask all interested parties who would like to buy or rent a MINI JCW Rally Plus or who would like to make use of the service or race participation with this vehicle to contact us as early as possible. In the side-by-side category, we will be able to deliver the first vehicles from May onwards, so please contact us in good time if you are interested. Further information on renting or buying can be found on our website:

ADDC overall standings (T1-category)
1. Y. Al-Rajhi / T. Gottschalk – Toyota – 16h 28m 06s
2. M. Prokop / V. Chytka – Ford – 16h 40m 37s
3. J. Yacopini / D. Oliveras – Toyota – 17h 01m 03s
4. S. Halpern / B. Graue – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 17h 02m 35s
5. Kh. Al-Qassimi / O. Floene – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 17h 17m 30s

Overall standings (T3-category)
1. S. Quintero / D. Zenz – Can-Am – 16h 58m 31s
2. A. Jones / G. Gugelmin – Can-Am – 17h 26m 16s
3. H. Garces / J.P. Latrach – Can-Am – 17h 54m 59s
4. L. Baud / L. Baud – OT3 – 18h 26m 29s
5. A. Koloc / S. Duple – Can-Am – 19h 20m 09s

10. J. Ferreira / F. Palmeiro – X-raid XYZ1000R Turbo Prototype – 34h 03m 43s

14. A. Fischer / A. Seel – X-raid XYZ1000R Turbo Prototype – 41h 06m 16s

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