Yazeed Al Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk win final stage of 2016 Sealine Cross Country Rally Qatar for solid second overall in round 3 of the 2016 FIA Cross Country World Cup
Two MINI ALL4 Racing finish on the podium as Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov complete the race in third
Round 3 of the 2016 Sealine Cross Country Rally Qatar ended in success for MINI All4 Racing as all three competing teams finished inside the top seven, with two of the three taking a place on the podium.
Despite this being their first season in the MINI ALL4 Racing, the pairing of Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) and co-driver Timo Gottschalk (GER) demonstrated how quickly they have adapted to the car by completing a stunning final stage in first position. It was not quite enough to steal the overall lead, but consolidated the duo’s second position.
With seven more events available to contest in this year’s FIA Cross Country World Cup, the result is encouraging for Al Rajhi and his co-driver.
Speaking after the final stage, Al Rajhi said: “We are happy with our achievements. The rally was extremely exhausting for drivers and co-drivers. The stages were extremely challenging for the drivers and the navigators had to be fully focused and perfectly prepared throughout the event. We found a good speed right from the start and were able to win the final stage, thus demonstrating what is possible.”
Just behind them on the podium was the MINI ALL4 Racing #203 of Russian pairing Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov. They completed the final stage competently in third position, with a significant gap to the next finishers – it was enough to secure a podium place in third overall.
Ricardo Porém (POR) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) in the MINI ALL4 Racing #205 were also impressive, given that this was the Portugese driver’s first ever long-distance desert cross country rally. The challenging sandy and rocky desert terrain proves difficult for many drivers, but with the support of Colsoul’s navigation and the proven performance of the MINI ALL4 Racing, Porém took the experience in his stride to finish seventh overall following a demanding final stage.
2016 Sealine Cross Country Rally : MINI ALL4 Racing overall results
|2nd||Yazeed Al Rajhi
|Timo Gottschalk (GER)||202||X-raid Team||15:27:54
|Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS)||203||G-Energy Team||16:27:04
Race calendar: 2016 FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies
19/02 – 22/02 Baja Russia
02/04 – 7/04 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
17/04 – 22/04 Sealine Cross-Country Rally Qatar
08/05 – 15/05 Pharaons Rally
23/06 – 26/06 Italian Baja
22/07 – 24/07 Baja Aragón
11/08 – 14/08 Hungarian Baja
25/08 – 28/08 Baja Poland
03/10 – 08/10 Rallye Oilibya du Maroc
21/10 – 23/10 Baja Portalegre 500