With four stages of the Rally dos Sertoes in Brazil contested, Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret in their MINI ALL4 Racing still are among the front-runners. Being second, just 10 seconds behind Guilherme Spinelli, the French pairing is very close to the leader. Meanwhile, the Brazilians Riamburgo Ximenes/Flavio França follow in fourth position, with their gap to third place amounting to just two minutes. And there still are another six stages to go.
Following the first four stages, the battle for the win apparently turned into a duel between Peterhansel in the MINI ALL4 Racing and Spinelli. On the past two days, the competitors had to complete two marathon stages and so, the drivers had to make without a service in the bivouac, at the end of day three.
Peterhansel won the third stage, thus temporarily taking the lead. On the following day, however, the Frenchman had to settle for finishing runner-up and consequently, he also dropped back to second in the overall standings – 10 seconds behind the leader, Brazilian Spinelli. Riamburgo Ximenes finished third and fifth, with his BMW X3 CC, and currently holds fourth position in the overall ranking.
But the Brazilian rally isn’t the only event X-raid is involved in, this week. On the coming weekend, the Trebur based team also will compete in the Baja Hungary. In that rally, Khalifa Al Mutaiwei from Dubai and his German co-driver Andreas Schulz will take their MINI ALL4 Racing to its limit to add as many points as possible to their FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup tally. Currently, they hold second position in the championship, just one point behind Frenchman Jean-Louis Schlesser. The rally will be kicked-off with a prologue on Friday and on the following two days, the entrants will have to race six special stages.
Overall standings after Stage 4:
1st G. Spinelli (BRA)/Y. Haddad (BRA) Mitsubishi Lancer – 9h 54m 02s
2nd S. Peterhansel (FRA)/J.-P. Cottret (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 9h 54m 12s
3rd F. Bibas (BRA)/E. Cavassin (BRA) Evoque Rally – 10h 34m 43s
4th R. Ximenes (BRA)/F. França (BRA) BMW X3 CC – 10h 36m 51s
5th R. Franciosi (BRA)/D. Muniz (BRA) Sherpa V8 – 10h 43m 23s