Baja Aragon: Three MINI JCW Rally Plus in the Top 10
- Zala and Ferreira secure third and fourth place.
- Holowczyc is seventh.
The X-raid Team can be pleased with three Top 10 positions for the MINI JCW Rally Plus at the Baja Espana Aragon. Vaidotas Zala and Paulo Fiuza (Unique Racing Team) made it onto the podium with third place. Joao Ferreira and Filipe Palmeiro finished the Baja in fourth position. Krzysztof Holowczyc and Lukasz Kurzeja, who also drive a MINI JCW Rally Plus, finished seventh. Sebastian Halpern and Bernardo “Ronnie” Graue were 15th in the MINI JCW Rally Plus. Miguel Prat and Mario Tomé had to retire early in the X-raid 1000R Prototype.
Ferreira and Palmeiro were on course for the podium for a long time. They had started the last special stage in third place overall. But due to punctures they lost a lot of time and slipped down to fourth place.
Joao Ferreira: “We are happy with the result. It was a very tough race for us and for the car. The whole team and Filipe did a very good job and thanks to them we were able to fight with the “big boys” for the top positions.”
Holowczyc also managed to finish in the top 10 and although he had not found the right car set-up on the first day, he was able to attack on Saturday. Unfortunately, two flat tyres on the last stage slowed him down on his way to the front. Nevertheless, he achieved a good seventh place.
Krzysztof Holowczyc: “We finish the Baja Espana Aragon in fighting mood. For sure we had hoped for a better result. On the first day we were still searching for the right setup. Also, a punctured tyre cost us time. Today the MINI JCW Rally Plus was perfect. Unfortunately, we had to start from a rear position and drove in dense dust. On top of that, we also had to overtake slower cars. The last stage was very fast! However, we lost a lot of time due to two punctures. I know that we are still able to fight at the front. We are working together with X-raid on the car, which is getting better and better.”
Halpern had to contend with a lot of bad luck. Technical problems and punctures caused a lot of time loss on the first day. So they had to start the second day from the back. But Halpern and his co-driver Graue fought their way to the front and secured sixth place on the fourth and final special stage. They finished the Baja Aragon in 15th place overall.
Sebastian Halpern: “Yesterday was not a good day for Ronnie and me. We had two punctures. The prologue didn’t go so well either. We had to start the first real stage from 22nd place. Today it went much better. In the third stage we were still in the dust a lot. On the last special stage we could really attack – no dust and no punctures. So we finished in sixth place. We are satisfied. That was good preparation for the Ruta 40 at the end of August.”
The next rally for the X-raid team is the Desafío Ruta 40 in Argentina from 26 August to 1 September 2023. X-raid will announce the driver pairings in a few weeks.
Baja Aragon – overall standings
1. N. Al-Attiyah / M. Baumel – Toyota – 6h 18m 37s
2. L. Moraes / K. Bentivoglio – Toyota – 6h 20m 20s
3. V. Zala / P. Fiuza – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 6h 28m 18s
4. J. Ferreira / F. Palmeiro – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 6h 29m 45s
7. K. Holowczyc / L. Kurzeja – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 6h 32m 06s
15. S. Halpern / R. Graue – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 6h 45m 57s