|Dakar Rally 2014: Succesful start for Team X-raid - five Mini All4 in the top 10.|
It was a very good start into the 2014 Dakar Rally for the Monster Energy X-raid Team. Together with his Portuguese co-driver Paulo Fiúza, Argentinean Orlando Terranova took his orange Mini All4 Racing to second place behind Carlos Sousa (Great Wall Haval). And with Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar) and Nani Roma (Spain) two other Mini teams finished third and fourth respectively.
The two Frenchmen Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret in their black X-raid Mini lost some time due to a puncture, came sixth – and crossed the finish line in exactly the same time as Krzysztof Holowczyc (Poland) in his red Mini.
The frustration due to the fact that the team failed to win stage one was limited. After all, no driver who was the fastest in the car category on day one succeeded in winning the Dakar, in recent years. By finishing second, Terranova proved to be the fastest X-raid driver. "The track resembled a WRC stage a lot – it was tight and twisting. So, making mistakes was easy," said the Argentinean. "But with 40 kilometers covered I found a good rhythm and started to push. Definitely the right decision."
For the Qatari and former Dakar-winner Nasser Al-Attiyah it was the first time he drove the Mini All4 Racing in anger – and he came third. "I took it easy to day to familiarise myself even better with the Mini,” he said. Some 30 seconds behind the driver from Qatar, Spain’s Nani Roma finished fourth and proved to be happy with this result. "This was a good start into the Dakar," he said. "Unfortunately I had to drive some 60 kilometers in the dust of Carlos Sainz, thus losing some time. Otherwise, we possibly could have achieved an even better result."
For quite a while, Peterhansel seemed to be on the way to winning stage one but then, a slow puncture cost him valuable time. "With just 30 more kilometers to go, the rear of the car handled more and more nervously and when the vehicle was nearly uncontrollable, we changed the tire," the Frenchman said in the bivouac. "Then, I rejoined the action ahead of Nasser. But when he used his sentinel I let him pass." Just as Roma, Holowczyc also lost time in the dust of an opponent. "But I didn’t want to take any risks," admitted the Pole. "It’s day one today and a lot of things can happen."
Top 10 Results SS01 Rosario - Saint Luis
01) Sousa / Ramalho (PT/PT) I Great Wall Haval I 02:20:36 I 00:00:00
02) Terranova / Fiuza (ARG/PT) I X-raid Mini I 02:20:47 I 00:00:11
03) Al Attiyah / Cruz (QT/ES) I X-raid Mini I 02:21:23 I 00:00:47
04) Roma / Perin (ES/F) I X-raid Mini I 02:21:51 I 00:01:15
05) Sainz / Gottschalk (ES/D) I SMG Gache Buggy I 02:24:39 I 00:04:03
06) Peterhansel / Cottret (F/F) I X-raid Mini I 02:24:57 I 00:04:21
07) Holowczyc / Zhiltsov (PL/RUS) I X-raid Mini I 02:24:57 I 00:04:21
08) Lavieille / Garcin (F/F) I Great Wall Haval I 02:26:18 I 00:05:42
09) Poulter / Howie (RSA/RSA) I Toyota Hilux I 02:26:33 I 00:05:57
10) Van Loon / Rosegaar (NL/NL) I Ford HRX Proto I 02:26:38 I 00:06:02
2014/01/06 | 19:08 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/SZLAPKA