– Carlos Sainz wins Hail Baja 2
– Third place for Stéphane Peterhansel
Vladimir Vasilyev clinched the title at the final round of the 2020 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas. Sixth place was sufficient for him at the Hail Baja 2 to take overall victory. This is Vasilyev’s second FIA World Cup title, having previously won in a MINI ALL4 Racing in 2014 with X-raid.
And there was more good news for X-raid in Saudi Arabia: as well as the World Cup success of Vasilyev, Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz also took victory in the Hail Baja 2 in their MINI JCW Buggy. Their team-mates Stéphane Peterhansel and Edouard Boulanger (both FRA) finished third in a MINI JCW Buggy.
Russians Denis Krotov and Konstantin Zhiltsov ended the Baja in tenth place in a MINI ALL4 Racing, while Victor Khoroshavtsev and Anton Nikolaev (both RUS) reached the finish in 13th place in their MINI JCW Rally.
Sainz showed what the MINI JCW Buggy is capable of on the opening stage, which the Spaniard won by over two minutes. He then attempted to repeat that success on the second leg, but ended day two in fourth place due to a navigational mistake. When the first positioned Nasser Al-Attiyah was given a two-minute penalty for exceeding the speed limit on the opening stage, Sainz was promoted as winner. Team-mates Peterhansel and Boulanger finished third. The French pair was testing various set-ups on the MINI JCW Buggy and ended the two days in third and second place.
Carlos Sainz: « We are pleased to have taken part in the two Bajas. We would have liked to have won today, but we had a minor navigational issue shortly before the end. However, I would rather encounter that problem now than later at the Dakar. On the whole, it was a positive test and we gained more experience with the Buggy. »
Stéphane Peterhansel: « It was an interesting Baja, with the kind of routes that we will also come across at the Dakar. We were able to use the last two days to continue testing the chassis. We improved from yesterday to today. It was also beneficial for me to have Edouard alongside me in the Buggy for some difficult navigation in the desert. I am really happy that we were able to take part in these two Bajas. »
Hail Baja 2 overall result
1. C. Sainz (ESP) / L. Cruz (ESP) – MINI JCW Buggy – 4h 51m 24s
2. N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA) – Toyota – 4h 51m 30s
3. S. Peterhansel (FRA) / E. Boulanger (FRA) – MINI JCW Buggy – 4h 52m 40s
4. Y. Al-Rajhi (KSA) / D. von Zitzewitz (GER) – Toyota – 4h 55m 40s
5. J. Przygonski (POL) / T. Gottschalk (GER) Toyota – 4h 59m 13s
6. V. Vasilyev (RUS) / D. Tysro (UKR) – MINI JCW Rally – 5h 00m 41s…
10. D. Krotov (RUS) / K. Zhiltsov (RUS) – MINI ALL4 Racing – 5h 25m 36s…
13. V. Khoroshavtsev (RUS) / A. Nikolaev (RUS) – MINI JCW Rally – 5h 47m 35s