Stéphane Peterhansel and new co-driver David Castera to debut in MINI JCW Rally as part of final preparations for Dakar 2019.
Joan “Nani” Roma / Alex Haro continue pre-Dakar development tests of MINI JCW Rally at Baja Portalegre 500.
Baja Portalegre 500 (Round 11) is traditionally the last race of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup and 2018 is no exception. The Portuguese round is also renowned for being the last major rally-raid race of the season where entrants are able to make final preparations under race conditions ahead of the 2019 Dakar that will take place in Peru, January 6-17th January 2019
Winner of 13 Dakar titles (seven car, six motorcycle), Stéphane Peterhansel (FR) will make his first race appearance under the banner of X-raid MINI JCW Team in Portugal. David Castera (FR) will be Peterhansel’s new co-driver for Baja Portalegre 500 and, of course, Dakar 2019. This crew is one of three who will challenge Dakar at the controls of MINI John Cooper Works Buggy cars. The other two crews of Cyril Despres (FR) / Jean-Paul Cottret (FR) and Carlos Sainz (SP) / Lucas Cruz (SP), successfully concluded their pre-Dakar tests earlier this month at Rallye du Maroc, Round 10 of the FIA World Cup.
With the three MINI JCW Buggy cars now being prepared for Dakar 2019, to reacclimatise to long-distance rally conditions, Peterhansel and Castera will race the proposed 685 km routes of Baja Portalegre 500 in a MINI John Cooper Works Rally.
The Spanish duo of Joan “Nani” Roma and co-driver Alex Haro are another crew from the MINI Family to compete at Baja Portalegre 500 in a MINI JCW Rally. As well as concluding development tests of the car ahead of Dakar 2019, Roma and Haro will be looking to further sharpen their navigation and driving experience.
Baja Portalegre 500 will get under way on 25th October with scrutineering of cars and crews. Rally action begins on Friday 26th and finishes with the Podium Ceremony on the evening of Saturday 27th October.
Stéphane Peterhansel: “Baja Portalegre 500 is a really well-organised event and the route is very technical. I have always had a lot of fun there. It will also be my first rally with David Castera, which makes it an important practice for us.”
Joan “Nani” Roma: “I am looking forward to the Baja Portalegre 500 – I have never raced there before. The routes are not easy. It is twisty, narrow and is often very muddy and slippery.”
FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup 2018 calendar
1 Baja Russia 16-18 February
2 Dubai International Baja 9-10 March
3 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 24-29 March
4 Qatar Cross-Country Rally 17-22 April
5 Rally Kazakhstan 27 May-2 June
6 Italian Baja 21-24 June
7 Baja Spain 20-22 July
8 Hungarian Baja 9-12 August
9 Baja Poland 30 August-2 Sept
10 Rallye du Maroc 3-9 October
11 Baja Portalegre 500 25-27 October