– Al-Rajhi/Gottschalk lead in the MINI John Cooper Works Rally
– All Mini in the Top 10
After three days at the Rally Kazakhstan, the fifth event in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies, two MINI John Cooper Works Rally are at the top of the overall standings.
Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) and Timo Gottschalk (GER) have won two of the four special stages so far and are currently leading the standings. Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) secured their first stage victory today and are in second place.
Al-Rajhi and Gottschalk got along very well with the terrain of the Kazakhstan Rally right from the start. On the first two days the duo was the fastest and finished almost eight minutes behind the runner-up in the overall standings. Thus they were able to keep the lead even today, despite a fourth place in the daily standings. « It’s really a great event. The first two days were very fast and it was still demanding today, » reports Al-Rajhi. « We were able to take a good lead, so we didn’t push so hard today. But the others were right there. Tomorrow we want to widen the gap again and try to get through the last days without mistakes. »
Przygonski and Colsoul were also among the leaders right from the start. Yesterday they lost some time due to a problem with the drive shaft, but today they were able to catch up again. With their stage victory they regained second place in the overall standings. « We are very happy about the day’s victory, » said Przygonski at the finish. « We pushed right from the start and got through without a problem. There is a lot of dust on these tracks and it is difficult to overtake competitors. Sometimes you just have to take the risk and attack in the dust. Tomorrow, more than 400 kilometres are on the agenda again. The dunes are not easy, as there are many bushes and camel grass. »
Alphand and Schulz finished the first day in second place overall. But on Tuesday, a flat tire and a heavy impact in a dune threw them back to fifth place. Also the third day was not without problems. « We had two flats and were therefore very long without spare tyres and accordingly cautious on the road, » reports the Frenchman. « We try to improve the buggy every day. It’s important to get him to the finish, but I have to say that Kazakhstan is a great country to drive a rally. »
Khoroshavtsev and Pavlov perform very well on their MINI JCW Rally debut. The two Russians have consistently placed in the top 10 over the past few days and are currently in seventh place overall.
Rally Kazakhstan – Overall result after SS3
1. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU) / Timo Gottschalk (GER) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 9h 52m 52s
2. Kuba Przygonski (POL) / Tom Colsoul (BEL) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 9h 56m 52s
3. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) MINI ALL4 Racing – 9h 57m 36s
4. Martin Prokop (CZE) / Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford – 10h 03m 42s
5. Luc Alphand (FRA) / Andreas Schulz (GER) MINI John Cooper Works Buggy, 10h 18m 47s…
9. Victor Khoroshavtsev (RUS) / Dmitry Pavlov (RUS) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 10h 44m 26s…
Rally Kazakhstan – Result SS3
1. Kuba Przygonski (POL) / Tom Colsoul (BEL) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 3h 24m 35s
2. Martin Prokop (CZE) / Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford – 3h 25m 23s
3. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) MINI ALL4 Racing – 3h 26m 40s
4. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU) / Timo Gottschalk (GER) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 3h 29m 38s
5. Luc Alphand (FRA) / Andreas Schulz (GER) MINI John Cooper Works Buggy – 3h 35m 52s…
9. Victor Khoroshavtsev (RUS) / Dmitry Pavlov (RUS) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 3h 45m 15s