Baja Aragon: Two MINI on the podium
· Terranova and Hirvonen finish second and third respectively
· Przygonski comes sixth
On Sunday, one day after the finish of the Silk Way Rally, the Baja Aragon competitors also rolled over their finish podium. All three MINI that contested the event made it to the top 10, with two of them even securing a podium. Orlando Terranova (ARG) / Paulo Fiúza (POR) took their MINI ALL4 Racing to second place, right ahead of Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) / Andreas Schulz (GER) in their MINI John Cooper Works Rally. Jakub Przygonski (POL) / Xavier Panseri (FRA) in the second MINI John Cooper Works Rally finished sixth.
On Saturday morning, in the second special stage, Terranova took the overall lead but in the afternoon, his team-mate Hirvonen passed him for the lead – only to be defeated by Nasser Al-Attiyah in the final stage. “It was a tough battle right from the start,” explained Terranova. “The car was just great. Contesting the Baja one again was big fun and even more so as so many spectators lined the route. On Sunday, however, we unfortunately weren’t fast enough.”
For Hirvonen, it was the first event he contested together with his new navigator Andreas Schulz. On Sunday, he wasn’t able to defend his lead and had to settle for finishing third. “Being first on the road wasn’t that easy,” revealed the Fin. “Of course, it’s a bit of disappointing to finish third in the end. On the other hand, my first rally with Andi ran really well and I can say that we have begun our preparations for the Dakar.” Meanwhile, Przygonski had a lot of bad luck, on the final day: gearbox problems and a puncture cost the young Pole a lot of time and he consequently finished sixth.
The next round on the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup calendar is the Hungarian Baja, held from 10th to 13th August in Hungary.
Overall result after Stage 4:
1. N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / M. Baumel (MCO) Toyota – 6h 40m 20s
2. O. Terranova (ARG) / P. Fiúza (POR) MINI ALL4 Racing – 6h 42m 55s
3. M. Hirvonen (FIN) / A. Schulz (GER) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 6h 43m 26s
4. N. Roma (ESP) / A. Haro (ESP) Toyota – 6h 48m 43s
5. L. Poulter (ZAF) / D. von Zitzewitz (GER) Toyota – 6h 52m 05s
6. J. Przygonski (POL) / X. Panseri (FRA) MINI John Cooper Works Rally – 6h 57m 25s