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• MINI secures second and third at Baja Portalegre 500 2017, final round of FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup.
• Guilherme Spinelli places MINI in second place. Boris Garafulic follows to a hard fought third place.
• MINI and Jakub Przygonski celebrate second-place overall in prestigious FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup.

The 31st edition of Baja Portalegre 500 provided two days of quality cross-country rally racing with two podium positions for MINI. The season-end race was tough for competitors, race organisers and spectators alike due to dry conditions causing severe dust conditions and poor visibility. Despite this, two crews of the MINI Family safely completed Baja Portalegre with podium positions.

Guilherme Spinelli (BRA) and Youssef Haddad (BRA) made a very successful visit to Portugal by taking second position overall at race end. This result was well-deserved after Spinelli and Haddad drove a superb race that saw the pairing take a stage win (SS4) and battle it out in the top five throughout the two days and 450+ kilometres of special stage sections.

Guilherme Spinelli: “I am very happy with the result. For Youssef and me, Baja Portalegre was a very pleasant race; to be here in front of very supportive Portuguese spectators it has given our second place result a first place taste! Even though the dusty race conditions meant visibility was bad in key areas, we pushed as hard as we could knowing the MINI was perfectly prepared by X-raid Team to see us through to race end.”

Boris Garafulic (CHL) with co-driver Filipe Palmeiro (POR) in a MINI John Cooper Works Rally had a tough start to Portalegre 500. A fifth and 14th place in the early special stages meant the crew had to chase the leaders all the way to Saturday’s closing stages. Their determination paid off by taking third overall in the final race standings.

For MINI and motorsport partner X-raid, the end of Baja Portalegre 500 also meant end of season celebrations could begin with the confirmation MINI driver Jakub Przygonski (POL) of Orlen Team had secured second place overall within the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup.

The FIA’s World Cup championship demonstrates perfectly the famed performance and reliability of MINI and its performance sub-brand MINI John Cooper Works – it is also an excellent development arena for Dakar Rally, the most demanding and respected long distance cross-country rally, of which MINI has won four times (2012-2015). The 2018 Dakar Rally takes place 6-20 January across the countries of Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.

For more information about 2018 Dakar Rally, please visit the host’s event home page here.

Baja Portalegre 500 2017: MINI standings at race end.

Position Driver Co-driver # Team
2nd Guilherme Spinelli (BRA) Youssef Haddad (BRA) 609 MINI ALL4 Racing X-raid Team
3rd Boris Garafulic (CHI) Filipe Palmeiro (POR) 608 MINI John Cooper Works Rally X-raid Team

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