Rally-Raid Portugal: Two MINI JCW Rally Plus in the top 5

Rally-Raid Portugal: Two MINI JCW Rally Plus in the top 5

04/08/2024

  • Outstanding performance by Joao Ferreira
  • Top position for Carlos Sainz after problems on the final day

The two Portuguese drivers Joao Ferreira and Filipe Palmeiro secured a sensational second place at their home rally in the MINI JCW Rally Plus. After five days through Portugal, including a short detour to Spain, they finished the rally just behind five-time Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah. At the third round of the FIA Rally-Raid World Championship, the two Spaniards Carlos Sainz and Alex Haro in the MINI JCW Rally Plus achieved a very good fourth place after problems on the final day. Both drivers were delighted with the MINI JCW Rally Plus, which proved its reliability during the demanding rally.

The Rally-Raid Portugal did not start according to plan for Ferreira and he initially had to settle for eighth place in the Ultimate classification. However, the young Portuguese driver regained his form overnight and went on the attack. With his consistently fast performance, he took over second place overall on the third day of the rally and defended it until the end.

As the current Dakar winner and local hero, Sainz was clearly the focus of the media and thousands of fans along the route. The Spaniard, who won the Dakar in the MINI JCW Buggy in 2020, had finished the first four stages in the top five and was clearly on course for a podium finish in third place. However, bad luck struck on the final day of all days and he lost his third place to Lucas Moraes. He struggled with brake problems on the fifth stage and finished ninth in the Ultimate classification. As a result, he dropped back to a thankless fourth place.

The fourth round of the FIA World Rally-Raid Championship is the Ruta 40 in Argentina from 1 to 7 June 2024.

Quotes from the drivers

 

Joao Ferreira (MINI JCW Rally Plus):
“It’s fantastic that I was able to secure second place between so many great drivers. That leaves me speechless. Many thanks to the organisation for this wonderful rally. The fans were incredible. I think all the drivers enjoyed this rally. Many thanks also to the X-raid team for the incredibly great MINI.”

Carlos Sainz (MINI JCW Rally Plus):
“Driving the MINI JCW Rally Plus was a good and nice experience. Many thanks to Sven and the X-raid team for this opportunity. I enjoyed the car more and more every day. I also really enjoyed the rally itself – despite the problem on the last day. It didn’t allow me to finish any higher than fourth place. I would also like to thank Alex Haro, who did a great and professional job.”

Overall standings Rally-Raid Portugal

 

1. N. Al-Attiyah / E. Boulanger – Prodrive – 10h 02m 57s
2. J. Ferreira / F. Palmeiro – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 10h 05m 46s
3. L. Moraes / A. Monleon – Toyota – 10h 06m 33s
4. C. Sainz / A. Haro – MINI JCW Rally Plus – 10h 09m 09s
5. Y. Al-Rajhi – T. Gottschalk – Toyota – 10h 20m 08s

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