Dakar 2023 // SS7: Halpern takes twelfth place
- Halpern and Al-Qassimi in 14th and 15th place overall
- Semi-marathon stage in Al Duwadimi
The heavy rains in Saudi Arabia continue to keep the Dakar on its toes. As it is not possible to accommodate the entire squad in Al Duwadimi, the A.S.O. decided to include a semi-marathon stage yesterday. The teams will have to spend the night without their team, but the mechanics can lend a hand during a two-hour service after the special stage.
On today’s special stage with many gravel sections and sandy tracks, the drivers were able to step on the gas. Sebastian Halpern and Bernardo “Ronnie” Graue finished twelfth in the MINI JCW Rally Plus. Jakub “Kuba” Przygonski and Armand Monleon were lucky: they contested the stage with a “three-wheel drive”. But on the fast terrain they got through without losing much time. The two MINI JCW Buggy crews Denis Krotov Konstantin Zhiltsov and Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi / Ola Floene finished 19th and 25th respectively.
In the overall standings, there are now three MINI in the top 20, with Halpern meanwhile moving up to 14th. Right behind him are Al-Qassimi and Krotov.
Sebastian Halpern: “I liked the stage very much. Very similar to a Baja. Ronnie had a lot to talk about today as the road book was quite extensive. We are happy with the result. The MINI also worked great today.”
Kuba Przygonski: “This was not an easy stage for us. At about kilometre 15 we had a technical problem. We decided to continue with a ‘three-wheel drive’. In the end it was not so bad. The tracks were rather rocky and stony and that’s why we didn’t lose so much time. Towards the end, navigation became very difficult. Armand did a great job and we got through without any mistakes. Fortunately, we now have a two-hour service. There the mechanics can still take care of the MINI.”
Tomorrow, the drivers return to their teams in Riyadh. With a total of 824 kilometres, they have another long day ahead of them. The stage itself is 346 kilometres long. Great contrasts await the drivers: At the beginning they will drive into the mountains, later into the open desert. On Monday, the rest day in Riyadh is on the agenda.
Dakar Rally 2023 – result SS7
1. Y. Al-Rajhi / D. von Zitzewitz – Toyota – 3h 06m 23s
2. V. Zala / P. Fiuza – BRX – 3h 15m 17s
3. G. Chicherit / A. Winocq – BRX – 3h 16m 38s
4. G. de Villiers / D. Murphy – Toyota – 3h 17m 44s
5. B. Baragwanath / L. Cremer – Century – 3h 19m 42s
12. S. Halpern / B. Graue – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 3h 23m 51s
17. J. Przygonski / A. Monleon – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 3h 25m 57s
19. D. Krotov / K. Zhiltsov – MINI JCW Buggy – 3h 31m 48s
25. Sh. K. Al-Qassimi / O. Floene – MINI JCW Buggy – 3h 38m 58s
Overall standings after SS7
1. N. Al-Attiyah / M. Baumel – Toyota – 27h 26m 23s
2. H. Lategan / B. Cummings – Toyota – 28h 27m 27s
3. L. Moraes / T. Gottschalk – Toyota – 28h 37m 47s
4. G. de Villiers / D. Murphy – Toyota – 29h 03m 10s
5. S. Loeb / F. Lurquin – BRX – 29h 20m 40s
14. S. Halpern / B. Graue – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 31h 10m 34s
15. Sh. K. Al-Qassimi / O. Floene – MINI JCW Buggy – 31h 10m 34s
16. D. Krotov / K. Zhiltsov – MINI JCW Buggy – 31h 26m 53s
31+. J. Przygonski / A. Monleon – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 34h 34m 24s