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Dakar Rally 2018 – Stage 6: Arequipa – La Paz

Hirvonen and Przygonski complete Stage 6 with top ten positions. • Hirvonen pushes hard to place sixth at stage end. • Przygonski takes 10th position in stage and climbs to sixth in the overall standings

MINI Motorsport
Dakar Rally

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Munich. Stage 6 of the Dakar was the first stage to take place inside Bolivia after leaving the deserts of Chile. The stage distance of 760 kilometres took in mountainous terrain of up to 4600 metres altitude and a complete contrast in racing conditions. Where the previous five stages consisted of sand, dunes and 40° C temperatures, today’s racing took in rain, mud and even ice at the highest points.


Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) and Andreas Schulz (DEU) did not waste time in getting to grips with the mountain tracks with top five positions throughout the first series of checkpoints. At the end of the stage, Hirvonen’s MINI John Cooper Works Buggy was officially placed as completing in 6th place and are now 13th overall.


Hirvonen: “It was a quite a contrast to what we saw yesterday. In the start of the race it was really muddy in places and wet on normal roads. It was quite nice to see how good the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy works in these areas; I was really happy with it. On the first part we were running really well, second, third and fourth. The second part was just straights, one corner, one jump and the car is handling really well.”


The second crew of the MINI Family to finish Stage 6 was that of Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) in their MINI John Cooper Works Rally. The pair also enjoyed the mountain tracks and completed in 10th position. This result sees the pair now placed just outside of the top five in the ‘Auto’ category with sixth place overall.


Przygonski: “We are happy.Today was a really nice stage. We enjoyed it. It was a good road book and so we were pushing hard. But it was not so easy because it was raining and slippery. Then we went to the high altitudes – the highest point I think was 4700 metres and there was snow at the sides of the road. It was strange to be in 40-degrees yesterday and today zero degrees.”


Boris Garafulic (CHI) and co-driver Filipe Palmeiro (POR) also made the most of the faster mountain roads and tracks in their MINI John Cooper Works Rally to put in yet another consistent race pace. Their 12th place finish at stage end puts them at 26th in the overall race classification.


The second MINI John Cooper Works Buggy crew of Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) / Timo Gottschalk (DEU) had the misfortune to start Stage 6 from the back of the pack but quickly made their presence felt. Even though overtaking room was limited on the mountain tracks, the pairing finished in 38th place.


Orlando Terranova (ARG) and co-driver Bernardo Graue (ARG) easily matched the pace of the other competitors in the early morning low-level sections of Stage 6. Unfortunately, when the crew reached the highest points in altitude, Terranova became unwell, possibly from altitude sickness. With safety in mind, the pairing made a decision to leave Stage 6 and drive directly to the bivouac at the next stop in La Paz.


Friday 12th January is an official Dakar rest day. Dakar 2018 resumes with Stage 7, La Paz – Uyuni, on Saturday 13th January. For more information about Dakar 2018, please visit the host’s event home page here.


Dakar Rally 2018 : MINI standings after Stage 6










Jakub Przygonski

Tom Colsoul


MINI John Cooper Works Rally

Orlen Team




Mikko Hirvonen

Andreas Schulz


MINI John Cooper Works Buggy

X-raid Team





Boris Garafulic

Filipe Palmeiro


MINI John Cooper Works Rally

X-raid Team





Yazeed Al Rajhi

Timo Gottschalk


MINI John Cooper Works Buggy

X-raid Team





Orlando Terranova

Bernardo Graue


MINI John Cooper Works Rally

X-raid Team


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