Saudi driver Yasir Seaidan enjoyed an excellent debut in the MINI ALL4 Racing at the Manteq Qatar Cross Country Rally. Together with his co-driver Laurent Lichtleuchter (FRA), he finished fourth. Jakub Kuba Przygonski (POL) and Timo Gottschalk (GER) had a very good race in the MINI John Cooper Works Rally. Unfortunately, they were disqualified after crossing the finish line, as their car was under the minimum weight.
|Seaidan can be pleased with an excellent debut in the MINI ALL4 Racing. The opening days of the rally saw the Saudi find his feet in his new car, before producing an impressive performance to finish fourth on day four and third on stages four and five.
The rally in Qatar had not one, but two new elements in store for Przygonski: the Pole was making his first appearance at the wheel of the upgraded MINI JCW Rally, which Nani Roma drove at the Dakar Rally. He was also joined in the co-driver seat by Timo Gottschalk for the first time. The two already knew each other from recent years with the X-raid team. Despite this, a new co-driver always takes a little adapting to, as everyone has their own way of navigating for their driver. However, the two soon adjusted to each other. Unfortunately, their performance ultimately went unrewarded.
On the last stage the tyre wear was extreme. The wear was so high that the vehicle slipped below the minimum weight of 1,850kg specified by the FIA.
Sven Quandt, X-raid Team Manager
"We're very sorry for Kuba, that was clearly our mistake. We had expected wear of more than one kilo, but due to the hard terrain, we ended up with 2.5kg per tyre. In addition, there was a change in the regulations which destroyed our weight buffer. We have to apologize to Kuba and Timo for that."
The next event in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies is the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (30.3.-04.04.2019). Before that, however, X-raid will be in action at the Dubai International Baja (7.-9.03.2019).
|Qatar Cross Country Rally - Overall result
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) / Mathieu Baumel (FRA) Toyota - 13h 18m 44s
2. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) / Dirk von Zitzewitz (GER) Toyota - 13h 29m 54s
3. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) BMW X3 CC - 14h 14m 32s
4. Yasir Hamid Seaidan (KSA) / Laurent Lichtleuchter (GER) MINI ALL4 Racing - 14h 52m 42s
5. Bernhard ten Brinke (NDL) / Tom Colsoul (BEL) Toyota - 16h 16m 18s
Source: X-raid Team press release