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Dakar Rally 2018 – Stage 11, Belen - Chilecito

• Two MINI crews complete Stage 11 inside the top ten. • MINI crew Przygonski / Colsoul maintain sixth place overall. • Hirvonen / Schulz finish Stage 11 despite race incident.

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Dakar Rally

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Dakar Rally 2018

18 January 2018


Dakar Rally 2018 Stage 11, Belen - Chilecito


  • Two MINI crews complete Stage 11 inside the top ten.
  • MINI crew Przygonski / Colsoul maintain sixth place overall.
  • Hirvonen / Schulz finish Stage 11 despite race incident.


Munich. Stage 11 of Dakar started a little different to normal. Instead of the cars starting the stage at timed intervals, the fastest 25 competitors from all categories would be mixed together. The sight of a car starting the stage alongside a motorcycle was quite exciting to see. Then there was the addition of the huge trucks and other categories, all fighting from the start line for fresh, unmarked soil ahead.


Right from the very start of the stage, it was clear the duo of Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) and co-driver Andreas Schulz (DEU) were determined to carry out what Hirvonen had promised the day before – to complete the remainder of Dakar with fast stage times. In the first three sections, Hirvonen was true to his word by placing the MINI John Cooper Works Buggy (#305) at the front of the leading pack.


At 107km, the “Flying Finn” and Schulz’s race day came to a dramatic stop with a heavy rollover. Even though the two men were uninjured, fellow MINI Family members Orlando Terranova (ARG) and Bernardo Graue (ARG) stopped to give assistance. Unfortunately, a badly damaged radiator meant the car was unable to continue. Help came later with the arrival of a service truck. Hirvonen / Schulz eventually completed Stage 11 and onward to the overnight stop for further repairs.


Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and his co-driver Tom Colsoul (BEL) in their MINI John Cooper Works Rally (#312) once again played out a consistent stage performance amongst the tall dunes and soft sand that saw them complete in seventh. A puncture and a small navigation error, together with a reduction in speed in the later part of the stage, to prevent damage to the car’s steering, did not change the pair’s overall race classification of sixth place.


The MINI John Cooper Works Rally (#307) of Orlando Terranova (ARG) and Bernardo Graue (ARG) also secured a top ten finish with a fine ninth place – even though they stopped to assist Hirvonen / Schulz. Terranova also admitted he was off the pace at the start because of stomach sickness.

Boris Garafulic (CHI) and co-driver Filipe Palmeiro (POR) continue their fight to climb higher up the leader board after delays encountered in the first week of Dakar 2018. Their 11th place finish now puts the MINI John Cooper Works Rally (#317) crew 18th overall.


MINI Family reports: Stage 11


Jakub Przygonski

“The stage was difficult navigation mixed with hard dunes and soft sand off piste. The last 50km, we slowed down a little bit because it was too risky for the drive shafts. We had one puncture and a small navigation mistake but otherwise we maintained a good tempo. The next two days will see two hard stages. The goal for us is to keep our overall standing. The guys in front of us are fighting really hard so we have to see what happens.”


Orlando Terranova

“Today was a long day also – it’s been a nice Dakar! For us the start was easy going; I didn’t feel good to make a push. We were driving with Mikko when he had a crash. We tried to help by putting the car back on its wheels. We lost maybe 20 minutes and then had a few little problems but we are here at the end…”


Next is Stage 12, Chilecito – San Juan. For more information about Dakar 2018, please visit the host’s event home page here.


Dakar Rally 2018 : MINI standings after Stage 11










Jakub Przygonski

Tom Colsoul


MINI John Cooper Works Rally

Orlen X-raid Team






Boris Garafulic

Filipe Palmeiro


MINI John Cooper Works Rally

MINI JCW  Rally Team




Mikko Hirvonen

Andreas Schulz


MINI John Cooper Works Buggy

MINI JCW Buggy Team





Orlando Terranova

Bernardo Graue


MINI John Cooper Works Rally

MINI JCW  Rally Team



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