|Dakar Rally 2014: Stéphane Peterhansel wins stage two with his Mini All4.|
The two Frenchmen Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret in their black Mini All4 Racing gave the Monster Energy X-raid Team its first stage win in the 2014 Dakar Rally. They won stage two, from San Luis to San Rafael, followed by buggy driver Carlos Sainz in second position. Their team mates, Nani Roma and Michel Périn took their yellow Mini to fourth position, with the pairings Nasser Al-Attiyah / Lucas Cruz and Orlando Terranova / Paulo Fiúza in the white and orange Minis Racing finishing fifth and sixth respectively.
After having had to cope with coming fourth on day one, Peterhansel experienced a trouble-free second stage. "The first part of the special stage was extremely fast," said the Frenchman. In the dunes the competitors had to cope with during the final 100 kilometers of the special stage, he was supported by unusual helpers. "We nearly could do without navigating as there were so many spectators on site that we could use them for our orientation." By winning stage two, Peterhansel also took the lead in the overall standings.
Meanwhile, Nani Roma was hampered by some minor problems. "Unfortunately, some grass had obstructed the radiator and I had to slow down again and again to let the engine cool down," said the Spaniard. In addition, he had to make a short stop due to a puncture. Nonetheless, he wasn’t too unhappy. "Its just day two and things aren’t looking too bad for us." In the overall standings he holds fourth position, just nine seconds behind his team-mate Al-Attiyah.
The man from Qatar in his white Mini was stopped three times by punctures. "I hit a rock sideways and realised at once that we had a slow puncture. But just two kilometers after having changed the tyre, we found out that the rear tyre also had been damaged." And at kilometer 200, they had to cope with the third puncture. "From this point in time, I opted for a far more conservative approach as we had no more spare tyres and keeping on pushing would have been too risky."
Terranova had been the second to start into stage two but soon had to adopt the pathfinder role as Carlos Sousa (Great Wall Haval) was stopped by a technical failure. "This alone wasn’t easy and then, something obstructed the radiator," said the Argentinean who now holds fifth position in the overall standings.
Holowczyc also had to cope with a dose of bad luck: The Pole also had to stop twice due to punctures. "Later we had some navigation problems," revealed the Pole. "Unfortunately, we lost a lot of time." The driver of the red Mini had to settle for finishing 13th and dropped back to ninth position in the overall standings.
2014/01/07 | 20:35 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/SZLAPKA