Jakub Przygonski and Tom Colsoul jubilant after second-place result
Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk secure three stage wins in their MINI John Cooper Works Rally
Mohamed Abu Issa and co-driver Xavier Panseri complete hat trick of MINI cars to complete tough Rally Kazakhstan
The 2017 Rally Kazakhstan proved to be a tough event for all competitors with mixed fortunes along the route for many entrants. However, Poland’s Jakub Przygonski proved that with more and more experience with four-wheels he is rapidly becoming a major force within the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup by taking another joyous second-place race end result in his ORLEN Team MINI ALL4 Racing (#206).
Together with co-driver Tom Colsoul (BEL), Przygonski managed to complete all six stages within the top three finishers, achieving one stage win (St1), three-second and two third-placed results. Przygonski now moves to third place in the 2017 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup standings.
“The event ran really fine for us,” said a smiling Przygonski. “We pushed right from the start to the finish line. We had a nice battle with Nasser. We really like the landscape and the rally. It was a good mix of dunes, fast sections and demanding navigation.”
Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) and Timo Gottschalk (GER) took their MINI John Cooper Works Rally (#202) to an incredible three stage wins during the 2017 Rally Kazakhstan, while recording impressive pace along the way. Unfortunately, the arduous and previously unknown terrain played its part with lost time through punctures and getting stuck in sand during Stage 4.
But even so, the next day saw Al-Rajhi and Gottschalk in determined mood and they eventually finished Stage 5 with the win and 11th overall after Stage 6, race end.
Al-Rajhi: “We are delighted that we finished the rally but of course we didn’t secure the result we came here for – but we won three of the six stages, thus demonstrating that we are able to go really fast. We learned a lot, in particular for the Silk Way Rally. We think that the first stages will be held on a similar terrain. It was a great rally with fantastic routes and beautiful landscapes.”
The 2017 Rally Kazakhstan didn’t end in the way Mohamed Abu Issa (QAT) and co-driver Xavier Panseri (FRA) were hoping for when they started out on the 2,500 km race. With third place in the overall standings of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup, the MINI Family crew was hoping to maintain or better this position. Unfortunately, Lady Luck was on holiday for Round 5 of the World Cup and the crew could only finish in 14th place.
“We had our dose of drama in this rally,” said Abu Issa, “But Xavier and I learned a lot. The navigation was extremely demanding and I was driving on terrain that was new to me. We are happy that we were able to finish the rally.”
2017 Rally Kazakhstan: final classification
|206||MINI ALL4 Racing||ORLEN Team|
|202||MINI John Cooper Works Rally||X-raid Team|
Abu Issa (QAT)
|207||MINI ALL4 Racing||X-raid Team|