Following on from yesterday’s short Stage 1, with just 84 km of off-road Special Stage, today’s Stage 2 was the first of the long distance races with a combination of 211 km liaison route and a tough 342 km Special Stage.
Highest placed of the competing MINI crews was that of Joan ‘Nani’ Roma (ESP) and co-driver Alex Haro (ESP). The Spanish pairing ran a relatively fault-free race that saw them finish in second. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) / Timo Gottschalk (GER) in another MINI John Cooper Works Rally crossed the finish point 1min 13sec later to take fourth place.
The French duo of Cyril Despres and Jean Paul Cottret was the third MINI crew to complete Stage 2. They placed their MINI John Cooper Works Buggy in sixth, while eighth position was taken by the Spanish pairing of Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz, also from X-raid MINI John Cooper Works Team.
Orlen X-raid Team’s Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and co-driver Tom Colsoul (BEL) had a different race compared to yesterday. They couldn’t replicate the third place achieved in Stage 1 and had to settle for a hard fought 13th place.
The MINI John Cooper Works Buggy crew of Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) / David Castera (FRA) lost just over 17 minutes at one point during Stage 2 when they became stuck in the dunes. But by the time they reached the finish area they had recovered valuable minutes.
Last of the MINI crews to complete Stage 2 was Boris Garafulic (CHI) and co-driver Filipe Palmeiro (POR) in 18th. The MINI John Cooper Works Rally crew of Orlando Terranova (ARG) / Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue (ARG) did not complete Stage 2 because Terranova required medical assistance due to back pain.
“We are happy with the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy and the set-up we did yesterday – you can make so many kilometres in testing like we have done in Morocco, but here in the sand and dunes of Peru it is different and you have to set the car up really well. We have great team spirit, so when I saw Stéphane stuck in the dunes I felt that I must help him and so we did.”
“I got stuck and was in a really bad place. We are happy though because Cyril stopped for us and pulled us clear. We lost a lot of time but, I think, without the help of Cyril it would have been a lot worse.”
Next race is Stage 3, San Juan de Marcona – Arequipa. For more information about Dakar 2019, please visit the host’s event home page here.