Andalucía Rally: Four X-raid vehicles in the top ten

– Second place for Carlos Sainz in the MINI JCW Rally
– Laia Sanz pleased with eighth place

Just as they did last year, Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz (both ESP) finished runner-up at the Andalucía Rally – this time in the MINI JCW Rally. Mattias Ekström and Emil Bergkvist (both SWE) enjoyed a successful debut in the T1 category (car prototypes), coming home fifth in a Buggy. Vaidotas Zala (LTU) and Paulo Fiuza (POR) were 6th. Laia Sanz (ESP) finished a fine eighth in her first race in the MINI JCW Rally together with Dani Oliveras (ESP). Russians Denis Krotov and Konstantin Zhiltsov ended the rally in eleventh place in their MINI JCW Rally.

Sainz was making his first appearance at a rally in a 4×4 vehicle for the first time for many years. However, the 2019 Dakar winner immediately found his feet and ended all five special stages in the top three, winning stages two and five in the MINI JCW Rally. In the end, he was just three minutes behind winner Nasser Al-Attiyah.

Having started in a Side-by-Side at the Rally Dakar in January, Ekström took his place behind the wheel of a Buggy for the first time in Spain. The Swede improved each day and eventually finished fifth overall – and this despite his co-driver Emil Bergkvist struggling with food poisoning.

Mattias Ekström: « I am happy. I had a good rally and learned a lot. They were four tough days. Initially, I was probably a little too cautious, but I wanted to ensure that I found my rhythm before really putting my foot down. We improved from day to day. »

Laia Sanz was also making her debut at the Andalucía Rally: the Spaniard was behind the wheel of the MINI JCW Rally for the first time. She too coped better every day and continuously worked her way up the overall standings. Sanz could ultimately be happy with her eighth place.

Laia Sanz: « It was a great experience. I learned an awful lot and that was the goal at this rally. I am very happy with the result. I improved every day. I am also pleased to have brought the car home in one piece. »

In the T3 category, Eric De Seynes (FRA) and Camelia Liparoti (ITA) secured eighth place in the Yamaha YXZ1000R prototype. Annett Fischer (GER) and Manuel Porém (POR) finished 16th in the Maverick X3.

The next event is the Rally Kazakhstan from 7 to 13 June 2021.

Andalucía Rally – overall standings
1. N. Al-Attiyah / M. Baumel – Toyota – 10h 20m 49s
2. C. Sainz / L. Cruz – MINI JCW Rally – 10h 23m 32s
3. Y. Al-Rajhi / D. von Zitzewitz – Toyota – 10h 34m 15s
4. E. van Loon / S. Delaunay – Toyota – 10h 45m 26s
5. M. Ekström / E. Bergkvist – MINI JCW Buggy – 10h 54m 03s
6. V. Zala / P. Fiuza – MINI JCW Rally – 10h 58m 45s…
8. L. Sanz / D. Oliveras – MINI JCW Rally – 11h 12m 32s…
11. D. Krotov / K. Zhiltsov – MINI JCW Rally – 11h 29m 44s

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