X-raid made a successful start into the second half of the Rally dos Sertões held in Brazil. French pairing Stéphane Peterhansel/Jean-Paul Cottret won both the fifth and sixth special stages, with their MINI ALL4 Racing of the Monster Energy X-raid Team, thus regaining the overall lead. While the Brazilians Riamburgo Ximenes and Flavio França worked their way up to third position, with their BMW X3 CC.
And Peterhansel is not only the overall leader but holds an impressive 12-minute lead over the previous leader, Brazilian Guilherme Spinelli. In the fifth special stage, from Carolina to Palmas, the MINI ALL4 Racing driver was more than seven minutes faster than his rival, thus stealing the Brazilian’s overall lead. On the following day, on the way to Alto Paraiba, the Monster Energy X-raid driver clinched his next special-stage win and extended his lead by another four minutes.
Meanwhile, BMW X3 CC driver Riamburgo Ximenes lost valuable minutes in the fifth special stage and finished fifth. In the sixth special stage, however, the Brazilian struck back by finishing second behind his team-mate Peterhansel, thus working their way back up to third position in the overall standings.
The sixth special stage had to be shortened at short notice. The organisers had planned a refuelling stop during the 468-kilometre special stage but the fuel wasn’t supplied and so, the race control had to react. Between the sixth and the seventh special stage, the drivers once again have to without the support of their teams’ service crews. The competitors still have to contest another four stages before they will arrive – on 28th August – at the finish in Fortaleza.
Overall standings after Stage 6:
1st S. Peterhansel (FRA)/J.-P. Cottret (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 15h 48m 37s
2nd G. Spinelli (BRA)/Y. Haddad (BRA) Mitsubishi Lancer – 16h 00m 27s
3rd R. Ximenes (BRA)/F. França (BRA) BMW X3 CC – 16h 44m 19s
4th F. Bibas (BRA)/E. Cavassin (BRA) Evoque Rally – 17h 14m 01s
5th M. Moraes (BRA)/F. Pedroso (BRA) T-Rex – 17h 53m 53s