‘Rallye du Maroc’: Six MINI racers travel to Morocco
The ‘Rallye du Maroc’ (4th to 10th October, 2017) is the penultimate round on the FIA World Cup calendar and – at the same time – it represents the final preparation in the desert prior to the Dakar Rally held in January 2018.
Many drivers use this event as a final test for the season highlight in competition conditions. On 4th October, three MINI John Cooper Works Rally and three MINI ALL4 Racing cars will roll over the start podium in Fez. The rally schedule comprises five stages, one of them a marathon stage, and takes the field to Erfoud.
After having competed in two Bajas in Europe, Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) and Andreas Schulz (GER) want to use the ‘Rallye du Maroc’ to keep on improving their collaboration in the MINI John Cooper Works Rally. After their bad luck in the Silk Way Rally, Bryce Menzies and Pete Mortensen (both USA) also will contest the event with a MINI John Cooper Works Rally. For them it’s of major importance to gather more experience on sand for an ideal preparation for the Dakar. Meanwhile, Orlando Terranova and Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue (both ARG) will contest the Moroccan event with a MINI ALL4 Racing. Due to their win in the Desafío Ruta 40 Norte they will travel to Africa with boosted confidence.
The third pairing racing in Morocco with a MINI John Cooper Works Rally is Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) und Tom Colsoul (BEL). For them, it’s mainly about defending their second position in the World Cup ranking or even close in on the championship leaders. After over one-year break, Joan ‘Nani’ Roma returns behind the wheel of a MINI ALL4 Racing. Nani also will contest the 2018 Dakar with his compatriot Alex Haro. Roma was first driving a vehicle of the Trebur based team in 2009 and won the 2014 Dakar in the MINI ALL4 Racing. It was the third win for X-raid in the legendary marathon rally. For Roma who had won the motorbike ranking of the 2004 Dakar, it was the second win in the tradition-rich rally.
The third MINI ALL4 Racing will be raced by Boris Garafulic (CHI) and his co-driver Filipe Palmeiro (POR). The Chilean’s last appearance was the 2017 Dakar and he uses the Moroccan rally to prepare for the coming tasks.