– Successful rehearsal for Stéphane Peterhansel
– Third place for Yasir Seaidan
Both MINI John Cooper Works Buggy reached the podium at the Riyadh Rally around the eponymous Saudi Arabian capital city. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) and Paulo Fiúza (POR) secured second place ahead of their brand team-mates Yasir Seaidan (KSA) and Alexey Kuzmich (RUS).
However, the result itself was not paramount for Peterhansel in Saudi Arabia. The French driver was particularly interested in getting to know the terrain and the conditions in the Arabic country. He was also working with co-driver Fiúza for the first time and the pair improved as they progressed through the stages. After claiming third place in the prologue, they reached second place on Friday. They then secured the win today and second place overall – just 46 seconds behind Saudi driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi.
Seaidan was competing in his home race but was driving the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy for the first time. Seaidan had previously competed in the MINI ALL4 Racing and in the MINI JCW Rally and he began the Baja with fifth place in the prologue. He was in good form on the next two stages. However, he then had a puncture that cost him a few minutes. After three days, he reached third place overall.
Stéphane Peterhansel : « It was fascinating to discover the landscape in Saudi Arabia and the Baja was faster than we had expected. I’m super satisfied with the MINI and the tests in Morocco really paid off. With Paulo, I had a co-driver next to me for the first time who doesn’t speak French, so I needed some time to adjust, but then it went well. »
Riyadh Rally Overall result
1. Y. Al-Rajhi (KSA) / M. Orr (GBR) Toyota – 4h 01m 56s
2. S. Peterhansel (FRA) / P. Fiuza (POR) MINI JCW Buggy – 4h 02m 42s
3. Y. Hamid Seaidan (KSA) / A. Kuzmich (RUS) – MINI JCW Buggy – 4h 06m 16s
4. E. Al Dossary (KSA) / S. Delaunay (FRA) Nissan – 4h 19m 45s
5. M. Zapletal (CZE) / Marek Sykora (SVK) Ford – 4h 29m 43s…
Press release X-Raid,