Official Release: Dakar 2018 is drawing to a close. Following the action of Stage 12, there now remains just two more stages before the Dakar finish line in Córdoba, Argentina. Stage 12 started perfectly for the four crews of the MINI Family as they made the most of stony tracks that weaved in and out of canyons and across many small rivers.305 HIRVONEN MIKKO (FIN), SCHULZ ANDREAS (DEU) Legende, BUGGY MINI, auto, car, action during the Dakar 2018, Stage 12 Chilecito to San Juan, Argentina, january 18 – Photo Eric Vargiolu / DPPI
Orlando Terranova (ARG) and Bernardo Graue (ARG) quickly settled into the stage and pushed hard to take the lead and held it until near CP2, when a puncture required attention. Despite losing time, the pair continued pushing the now front runners. It was a happy crew of the MINI John Cooper Works Rally (#307) that eventually finished the stage in fourth place, just under six minutes off the finish time of the first placed car.
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) and co-driver Andreas Schulz (GER) in the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy (#305) also put their mark on Stage 12 by quickly settling into sixth place for the greater part of the stage. Despite tiredness from having only a few hours’ sleep, the pair continued at a good pace to hold this position right to the finish of the stage.
The third crew of the MINI Family to take a top ten slot in Stage 12 was that of Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and co-driver Tom Colsoul (BEL) in their MINI John Cooper Works Rally (#312). Their daily race ended with eighth place, just over two minutes behind their fellow MINI crew of Hirvonen / Schulz. This result saw Przygonski maintain his sixth place in the overall race classification.
Boris Garafulic (CHI) and co-driver Filipe Palmeiro (POR) in a MINI John Cooper Works Rally (#317) completed Stage 12 in 13th. This result meant the pair moved up two more positions in the overall classification to 16th.