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– MINI John Cooper Works Rally makes 2017 Cross Country Rally debut
– Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) and Timo Gottschalk (GER) lead the MINI charge
– Mohamed Abu Issa (QAT) and Xavier Panseri (FRA) target more success
– Jakub Kuba Przygonski (POL) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) start their season

Following extreme testing and development at the demanding 2017 Dakar Rally, the MINI John Cooper Works Rally will make its debut in the 2017 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies at the forthcoming Qatar Cross Country Rally on 17-22 April 2017. Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) and Timo Gottschalk (GER) will pilot the car across 1,994km and five stages at the event that has been won twice by MINI.

Two MINI ALL4 Racing cars will also be among the competitors of the FIA class and crewed by privateers from the MINI Family. Mohamed Abu Issa (QAT) and co-driver Xavier Panseri (FRA) will be looking to build on their success in Abu Dhabi where the pairing finished the third round of the series in the top three. It is the home race for Abu Issa, who is accustomed to the Qatar terrain, which presents a mix of sand, dunes and rocky sections.

Joining them on the super special stage and four further special stages will be Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) who reunite after contesting a MINI in this year’s Dakar.

The route for this year’s event has been slightly shortened based on refinements made following competitor feedback in 2016. The long special stage from last year has been removed and the rally has been designed with a more challenging route, across a larger geographical area, but with less stony sections.

Scrutineering will take place on Monday 17 April with race action beginning with a new 564km Super Special Stage close to Doha on Tuesday 18 April.

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