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Persistence pays off. Al-Attiyah quickest through four Waypoints of 431km Special Stage to take Stage 11 win.

Once again the combination of Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) and co-pilot Mathieu Baumel (FRA) showed the form that captured them the 2015 Dakar title by placing their AXION X-raid Team (#300) MINI ALL4 Racing first across the Special Stage finish line.

Starting from 14th, the MINI ALL4 Racing crew quickly showed their intentions by passing the first Waypoint in third. This perfect display of fast driving and navigation continued and reaped the rewards of first in stage and a reduction in the overall time variation to leader Peterhansel.

Nasser: “We won the stage, so I’m quite happy even though it was very hard. We did a good job from start to finish and that is what racing is all about.”

Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) and co-driver Michel Périn (FRA) in the AXION X-raid Team MINI ALL4 Racing also showed a fine turn of speed and navigation excellence. They placed their MINI ALL4 Racing (#315) in third. In the overall standings, Hirvonen retains fourth.

“It went well but it was really tough,” said Hirvonen. “I’m a Scandinavian guy and I need a lot of cooling for myself. I lost my air-cooling pipe and the flap on the side window so I didn’t really get any fresh air and struggled without it. I pushed harder today to see if I can claim third place. I will push again tomorrow to keep up the pressure.”

The #304 MINI ALL4 Racing of Spanish pairing Joan ‘Nani’ Roma and Alex Haro (AXION X-raid Team) was the third MINI ALL4 Racing number to finish within the top ten. Their hard work paid off with a fine sixth – the same position they now hold in the overall ranking.

Roma: “A really nice stage today. In the middle of the stage I was fighting and passing and that makes the stage feel good to fight with someone. More kilometres with Alex and everything is working well.”

All of the MINI ALL4 Racing crews showed exactly what has made the MINI ALL4 Racing an iconic long-distance rally car. At the end of Stage 11, seven MINI ALL4 racing had completed inside the top fifteen.

Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and Andrei Rudnitski (BLR) of ORLEN Team (#327) ended Stage 11 in 12th. Directly behind their MINI ALL4 racing at the finish was a trio of fellow MINI ALL4 racing crews.

In 13th was the consistent duo of Harry Hunt (GBR) and Andreas Schulz (GER). They retain tenth overall.

Showing no effects of the dramatic roll endured on Stage 10, Erik van Loon (NLD) and Wouter Rosegaar (NLD) put in a perfect performance to claim 14th at stage end.

Orlando Terranova (ARG) and co-driver Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue (ARG) from AXION X-raid Team (#310) put in a fine effort to finish 15th – just six minutes behind fellow MINI ALL4 Racing man Przygonski.

2016 Dakar Rally: Day 13, Stage 11, 712km La Rioja – San Juan. MINI ALL 4 Racing standings:

Position Driver Co-driver # Team Time
2 Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) Mathieu Baumel (FRA) 300 AXION X-raid Team 038:34:15 +0:51:15
4 Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Michel Périn (FRA) 315 AXION X-raid Team 039:05:07 + 01:22:47
6 Joan ‘Nani’ Roma (ESP) Alex Haro (ESP) 304 AXION X-raid Team 039:36:54 +01:54:34
10 Harry Hunt (GB) Andreas Schulz (GER) 323 X-raid Team 040:30:22 +02:48:02
13 Erik van Loon (NDL) Wouter Rosegaar (NDL) 306 Van Loon Racing 042:55:57 +05:13:37
14 Orlando Terranova (ARG) Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue (ARG) 310 AXION X-raid Team 43:01:17 +05:18:57
17 Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) Andrei Rudnitski (BLR) 327 ORLEN Team 04322:12 +05:39:52
TBA Boris Garafulic (CHL) Filipe Palmeiro (POR) 313 X-raid Team
TBA Nazareno Lopez (ARG) Sergio Lafuente (URU) 351 X-raid Team
TBA Adam Malysz (POL) Xavier Panseri (FRA) 325 ORLEN Team

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