The ‘Super Special’ of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge already provided the competitors with a first foretaste of desert feeling. In a sandstorm, the drivers covered a two-kilometre track located not far from the Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit. Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL) and Andreas Schulz (GER) were the quickest, with their MINI ALL4 Racing, thus winning the short special stage. Nani Roma (ESP) and Michel Périn (FRA) took their MINI ALL4 Racing to fourth position.
Meanwhile, Paraguay’s Viktor and Vernon Rempel made a great cross-country rallying debut with the BMW X3 CC. On the winding track, they made optimum use of their rally experience and finished ninth. Tomorrow, however, it will be the father & son pairing’s first outing into the desert. German Stephan Schott will start into tomorrow’s first stage from 12th position. As his long-term co-driver currently suffers from shoulder problems, Schott contests the event in Abu Dhabi with Portuguese Filipe Palmeiro in the MINI ALL4 Racing’s navigator seat.
In the off-season, the FIA changed parts of the regulations. This year, the five fastest drivers of the ‘Super Special’ may choose their position within the top five, with the fastest driver having the first choice. After all, most of the drivers try to avoid to be the first to start into a desert stage as the first car hast to find the correct path and the others follow its tracks. Consequently, Roma will be the second to start into tomorrow’s special stage, with his team-mate Holowczyc following right behind in this. While Bernard Ten-Brinke will have to act as pathfinder.
Two questions put to Sven Quandt, Team Manager of the Monster Energy X-raid Teams
What is the goal for the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge?
With Nani Roma and Krzysztof Holowczyc, we’ve got two extremely competitive drivers in the field. Therefore, we definitely have set ourselves the goal to win this rally.
What us the special challenge of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge?
The extreme heat! Dehydration is a massive issue, here. Furthermore, the drivers always are surrounded by sand and have to concentrate to the max. Even the slightest mistake can make you get stuck and lose a lot of time.
Result Super Special:
1st K. Holowczyc (POL)/A. Schulz (GER) MINI ALL4 Racing – 1m 38.60s
2nd B. Ten-Brinke (NLD)/M.Baumel (FRA) Ford – 1m 40.36s
3rd G. Spinelli (BRA)/Y. Haddad (BRA) Mitsubishi – 1m 40.69s
4th N. Roma (ESP)/M. Perin (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 1m 41.54s
9th V. Rempel (PAR)/V. Rempel (PAR) BMW X3 CC – 1m 44.73s
12th S. Schott (GER)/F. Palmeiro (POR) MINI ALL4 Racing – 1m 48.06s