MINI All4 Racing destroyed the competition. At the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2015, out of six top positions, four were taken by Mini.
After the prologue at the Yas Marina Circuit, the competitors entered the desert and fought dunes and sand. In addition to the rough soil, third and fourth stage were extremely hot. Unfortunately, the final stage was canceled due to heavy sand storm the night before.
Famous driver from Qatar won the race, at least it seemed so. After the finish, stewards noticed a “problem”.
Even though they realized the high suspension travel wasn’t set on purpose, Al-Attiyah has been disqualified. The constant strain of the suspension during the rally probably caused the violation of the rules.
Sven Quandt, the CEO of X-Raid said: “It’s not directly our fault for the suspension violation, the problem was the material. It was changing its shape duing the tough conditions of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
The disqualification made the other drivers fortunate of course.
Vladimir Vasilyev’s MINI is now at the top.
Erik Van Loon is now 2nd – “Unfortuntely, the fifth stage was canceled. Too bad. I had so much fun.”, he said.
New MINI driver, Harry Hunt was delighted with the car. Surprisingly, he finished 3rd.
Terranova finished 6th, it was a practice for Dakar. He still isn’t very
happy with his dexterity on the dunes but he’s very happy with the progress.
Out of four Overdrive Toyotas, two took the 4th and 5th place.
Results AFTER the disqulification
- Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS)/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) – Mini All4
- Erik van Loon (NED)/Wouter Rosegaar (NED) – Mini All4
- Harry Hunt (GBR)/Andreas Schulz (DEU) – Mini All4
- Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU)/Timo Gottchalk (DEU) – Overdrive
- Marek Dabrowski (POL)/Jacek Czachor (POL) – Overdrive
- Orlando Terranova (ARG)/Bernardo Graue (ARG) – Mini All4
TEXT: Emilio Mocibob
PHOTO: Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge