MINI John Cooper Works Rally take top two podium positions.
Joan 'Nani' Roma / Alex Haro win in Portugal.
Stéphane Peterhansel and co-driver David Castera complete successful MINI debut ahead of Dakar 2019.
The last round (11) of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup, Baja Portalegre 500, ended today (27-10-2018) with a MINI one-two result. This success comes on the back of MINI securing its sixth FIA World Cup title just weeks earlier when Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski amassed an unassailable point lead at Rallye du Maroc (Round 10) to take the championship win.
Spain’s Joan “Nani” Roma and co-driver Alex Haro (SP) drove their MINI John Cooper Works Rally at a fast pace during Friday’s Leg 1 in Portugal. Despite a puncture, followed by heavy rain and slippery conditions over the last 15 km, they ended Leg 1 with a marginal lead over the chasing pack.
Today’s Leg 2 was also a fast paced affair that saw Roma get two more punctures and finish the last stage in second place but fractionally ahead on overall time, netting the Spaniard and co-driver Haro the win.
Stéphane Peterhansel (FR) and his new co-driver David Castera (FR) completed a successful race debut in Portugal for X-raid MINI JCW Team. Competing at Baja Portalegre 500 in a MINI John Cooper Works Rally, to finalise race preparations ahead of Dakar 2019, the pair lost time from a puncture in Leg 1. However, they pushed hard throughout Leg 2 to secure a stage win and second overall. The duo now look to Dakar 2019 and their first competitive outing in the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy.
Joan “Nani” Roma: “The last stage was not easy and we had two punctures within 70km, which caused us to stop twice, but we’re happy and it was important to test everything in the car before Dakar. The MINI John Cooper Works Rally goes really well. It was not an easy race; it was really twisty and there were a lot of trees, so it was quite complicated.”
Stéphane Peterhansel: “It was a good weekend for us and a good opportunity for me to complete the last training with David Castera before Dakar. As always, the Baja Portalegre is a really interesting race; the driving is not easy. We finished second, which is not the best place but we were not focused on winning. Our focus was on Dakar training; the car was good, we had no problems, the speed was not so bad. For me, it was like I expected, good rhythm and a good feeling with David, so perfect weekend.”