- MINI John Cooper Works Rally crew of Joan ‘Nani’ Roma / Alex Haro move up to second in the overall ranking.
- Four MINI crews complete Stage 8 inside the top ten.
- Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski / Tom Colsoul finish third in stage.
Stage 8 was also known as ‘Super Ica’ for two reasons: 1) the route covered sections of the Ica desert, and 2) the start was a ‘super send-off’ that saw the top ten cars and motorcycles and top five trucks from Stage 7 start the 359 km Special Stage together.
The ‘super’ send-off procedure gave early starters clear undisturbed terrain to speed ahead of the following pack. The downsides being that there were no previous tracks to indicate difficult terrain ahead and a long wait at the finish point to see if the following competitors would be faster across the same route.
Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and co-driver Tom Colsoul (BEL) managed to make the best of the Ica desert stage of all the |MINI crews to maintain a mid-order position over the first half of the Special Stage. Avoiding any serious problems and working in harmony with Colsoul, Przygonski eventually placed the MINI John Cooper Works Rally into third.
Joan ‘Nani’ Roma (ESP) and co-driver Alex Haro (ESP) also drove a consistent race without major mishap to complete the stage in fifth. This stage result lifts the MINI John Cooper Works Rally crew into second position in the overall ranking just 46min 29sec behind the leading car.
Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) / Timo Gottschalk (GER) in a MINI John Cooper Works Rally had a good race today. Even though the pair set off in the second wave of cars to start Stage 8 and race across ground disturbed by the first wave, they managed to complete in a time that saw them secure sixth place.
French duo Stéphane Peterhansel and co-driver David Castera did not have a good day when they got stuck in the Ica sand early in the stage. Despite this setback the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy crew pushed hard to finish eighth overall in stage.
Boris Garafulic (CHI) and co-driver Filipe Palmeiro (POR) also put in a good race today to place their MINI John Cooper Works Rally just outside of the top ten with a hard earned 12th place.
Cyril Despres (FRA) and co-driver Jean Paul Cottret (FRA) also had problems with the Ica sand. At one point they were stuck with Peterhansel in the same area of desert and was the main reason for their finish position of 17th. Carlos Sainz (ESP) and co-driver Lucas Cruz (ESP), also in a MINI John Cooper Works Buggy, had a similar race and managed to complete in 22nd.
“We had to cross a lot of soft dunes, in which there were a lot of rocks hidden. Despite this, we still pushed hard and I don’t think we could have hoped for any more than the result we had today.”
“It was a really tough day. We got stuck once, but only for a short time so we were lucky. It was pretty chaotic in the dunes, with competitors all over the place. We need to continue like that tomorrow and not make mistakes. We won’t change a lot. We need to stay calm, drive like today and we will see what happens tomorrow night!”
“It was a good day, nothing special. We drove safe, which was the most important thing, and we tried to keep going, enjoy the drive and guard our position.”
“The first 150 km were very fast and we overtook a trio of bikes. This made me the first vehicle into the dunes, so there were no tracks to use as orientation. We then got stuck after 20 km. The sand was very soft and difficult to read. And then, 50 km from the finish, we hit a big hole in the dunes and again got stuck.”
Next race is Stage 9 (Pisco – Pisco) and is the penultimate stage of Dakar 2019. For more information about Dakar, please visit the host’s event home page here.