Dakar: Good debut for the Mini John Cooper Works Rally

Orlando Terranova and Abdreas Schulz © DR

– Orlando Terranova finishes sixth

– Seven MINI make it to the finish line and six in the top 20
It’s done – two weeks Rally Dakar across Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina, in torrential rain, mud, heat and in enormous altitude! All the three MINI John Cooper Works Rally vehicles survived their debut appearance and made it to the finish line – just as four of the five MINI All 4 Racing pairings that contested the event. 

And in this gruelling rally, taking both man and material to their very limits, six of the seven MINI racers that finished the event made it to the top 20. The past two weeks were extremely eventful and in the end, Orlando Terranova (ARG) and Andreas Schulz (GER) with their MINI John Cooper Works Rally coped best with the continuous ups and downs to finish sixth in the overall ranking. Right behind them, Kuba Przygonski (POL) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) came seventh. While Qatar’s Mohamed Abu Issa, supported by his French navigator Xavier Panseri, secured the really fine 10th place, in his first Dakar.
The debut appearance of the new MINI John Cooper Works Rally was a positive one. The three rally vehicles covered the covered the gruelling route from Paraguay via Bolivia to Argentina without encountering any major technical problems. Meanwhile, the conditions and circumstances made a major impact on the result. Among these circumstances definitely was the enormous altitude in Bolivia that got – in stage four – particularly to Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA). Due to massive headache he had to retire from the stage.
Furthermore, the weather prevented the pairings from making up for the lost ground. Several times, special stages had to be shortened or even cancelled. 1400 of the scheduled 4093 special-stage kilometres weren’t contested – that’s more than a third! The ninth stage in particular would have offered the Mini John Cooper Works Rally pairings the chance of pushing. At the end of the day, this Dakar Rally once again demonstrated that the advantage the buggies enjoy over the all-wheel driven cars due to the technical regulations is massive.
For Terranova, the start into the event was particularly difficult. For him, too, the fourth stage proved to be crucial for the rest of the Dakar. Navigation problems and difficulties with the enormous altitude cost him a lot of time – but on the following days he worked his way back up step by step and made it to the top six, in the end. “It was a difficult first week,