– 4th place stage finish for Hirvonen
– Terranova completes today’s stage in 6th
– Four MINI remain in the overall top 10
The poor weather conditions continued for Stage 8 of the 2017 Dakar today, with the organisers making the decision to shorten another section of the route. The first change to the road book was made early in the day with the shortening of the first part of the special by 73km to restart at the border with Argentina. Additional changes were made later in the day when it became clear that flooding on the road to Salta made it impossible for any vehicles to reach the planned end point. Race organisers have now confirmed that tomorrow’s Stage 9, including the Super Belen, will be cancelled – the decision means that 42% (1,400 km) of so far planned special stages (3,300 km) have been called off due to poor weather.
Today’s difficult conditions meant that there was not much change in positions today with most of the MINI family competitors maintaining their overall position. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) and Michel Perin (FRA) once again secured a 4th place stage finish in the #303 MINI John Cooper Works Rally car to remain in 5th place in the overall standings.
Just two places behind them in today’s stage was the #308 MINI John Cooper Works Rally car of Orlando Terranova (ARG) and Andreas Schulz (GER). The pairing remained on form with another consistent performance that saw them maintain 7th position overall.
Completing the top ten in today’s stage finish was fellow MINI John Cooper Works Rally driver Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) and co-driver Timo Gottschalk (DEU). Their official overall position is still subject an appeal.
Jakub Przygonski (POL) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) were in the first MINI ALL4 Racing car (#316) to complete the stage in 14th. They also held on to their place in the overall standings in 8th.
The remaining MINI ALL4 Racing pairings also completed Stage 8 with Mohamed Abu Issa (QAT) and Xavier Panseri (FRA) finishing in 17th, one place ahead of Boris Garafulic (ARG) and co-driver Filipe Palmeiro (POR) in the #314 MINI ALL4 Racing car. Sylvio de Barros (BR) and Rafael Capoani (BR) finished the stage in 20th position, two places in front of Stephan Schott (GER) and Paulo Fiuza (POR) in 22nd.
2017 Dakar Rally: MINI Family standings overall after Stage 8.
Position Driver Co-driver # Team Time
5 Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Michel Périn (FRA) 303 X-raid Team 21:03:46 +00:53:41
7 Orlando Terranova (ARG) Andreas Schulz (GER) 308 X-raid Team 21:36:52 +01:26:47
8 Jakub Przygonski (POL) Tom Colsoul (BEL) 316 ORLEN Team 21:52:23 +01:42:18
9 Boris Garafulic (CHL) Filipe Palmeiro (POR) 314 X-raid Team 22:53:02 +02:42:57
12 Mohamed Abu Issa (QAT) Xavier Panseri (FRA) 322 X-raid Team 23:44:37 +03:34:32
16 Sylvio de Barros (BR) Rafael Capoani (BR) 339 X-raid Team 25:02:08 +04:52:03
18 Stephan Schott (GER) Paulo Fiuza (POR) 325 X-raid Team 25:19:41 +05:09:36
26* Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) Timo Gottschalk (DEU) 306 X-raid Team 34:45:49 +14:35:44
*subject to appeal