Mini in Dakar: Przygonski climbs to sixth overall

b_600_0_16777215_00_images_00-DAKAR_2018_01_website_05118002__EV23678.jpg

The sixth leg of the 2018 Dakar led the participants to the Bolivian capital La Paz, where the rest day takes place tomorrow. There were no dunes on the agenda today, but the participants were almost the entire special stage at an altitude of over 4000 meters - the highest point was more than 4,600 meters. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) and Andreas Schulz (GER) finished sixth in the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy. Jakub "Kuba" Przygonski (POL) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) placed four positions behind in the MINI John Cooper Works Rally. Boris Garafulic (CHI) and Filipe Palmeiro (POR) finished 12th in the MINI JCW Rally.

Hirvonen is very pleased with the day. „There is a great contrast between yesterday and today - muddy, wet and hardly offtrack," reports the Finn. „It was interesting to see how the buggy performs on this terrain and I am really happy. In the first part of the stage we were very well on the road, later it was almost straightforward - and I do not like that."

„We had a lot of fun today," summarizes Przygonski. "We pushed, but it was very slippery because of the rain. The test brought us to great heights and there was also snow next to the track. After the last few days a real change. In the first week we had some problems. After the rest day, we want to keep the speed, but not the problems."

After the involuntary ride of Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) and Timo Gottschalk (GER) into the Pacific Ocean on yesterday's stage, the team had worked through the entire night and finished the MINI JCW Buggy on time. However, the Saudi started as one of the last participants in the special stage and came as 38th in the finish line.

Orlando Terranova and Ronnie Graue (both ARG) had a good speed on the first part of the stage and were in sixth position. However, the enormous height caused Terranova trouble. He stopped at a service point in the team to be treated by the team doctor. As he was not feeling better, he drove directly to the bivouac in La Paz.

Tomorrow is the rest day. The team will completely dismantle the vehicles in order to prepare them as well as possible for the second part of the Dakar 2018. In addition, participants will have to manage the day after tomorrow without service. On the marathon stage the crews drive to Uyuni, while the rest of the team drives to Tupiza. On Sunday everyone meets again in Tupiza.