The two Frenchmen Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret in their black MINI ALL4 Racing gave the Monster Energy X-raid Team its first stage win in the 2014 Dakar Rally. They won stage two, from San Luis to San Rafael, followed by buggy driver Carlos Sainz in second position. Their team mates, Nani Roma (ESP) and Michel Périn (FRA), took their yellow MINI ALL4 Racing two fourth position, with the pairings Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) / Lucas Cruz (ESP) and Orlando Terranova (ARG) / Paulo Fiúza (POR) in the white and orange MINIs ALL4 Racing finishing fifth and sixth respectively.
After having had to cope with ´coming fourth on day one, Peterhansel experienced a trouble-free second stage. “The first part of the special stage was extremely fast,” said the Frenchman. In the dunes the competitors had to cope with during the final 100 kilometres of the special stage, he was supported by unusual helpers. “We nearly could do without navigating as there were so many spectators on site that we could use them for our orientation.” By winning stage two, Peterhansel also took the lead in the overall standings, with his black MINI ALL4 Racing.
Meanwhile, Roma in the yellow MINI ALL4 Racing was hampered by some minor problems, today. “Unfortunately, some grass had obstructed the radiator and I had to slow down again and again to let the engine cool down,” said the Catalan. In addition, he had to make a short stop due to a puncture. Nonetheless, he wasn’t too unhappy. “Its just day two and things aren’t looking too bad for us.” In the overall standings he holds fourth position, just nine seconds behind his team-mate Al-Attiyah.
The man from Qatar in his white MINI ALL4 Racing was stopped three times by punctures. “I hit a rock sideways and realised at once that we had a slow puncture. But just two kilometres after having changed the tyre, we found out that the rear tyre also had been damaged.” And at kilometre 200, they had to cope with the third puncture. “From this point in time, I opted for a far more conservative approach as we had no more spare tyres and keeping on pushing would have been too risky.”
Terranova had been the second to start into stage two but soon had to adopt the pathfinder role as Carlos Sousa was stopped by a technical failure. “This alone wasn’t easy and then, something obstructed the radiator,” said the Argentinean who now holds fifth position in the overall standings.
Holowczyc also had to cope with a dose of bad luck, in the second stage: the Pole also had to stop twice due to punctures. “Later we had some navigation problems,” revealed the Pole. “Unfortunately, we lost a lot of time, today.” The driver of the red MINI ALL4 Racing had to settle for finishing 13th and dropped back to ninth position in the overall standings.
Tomorrow, the drivers will reach the foothills of the Andes for the first time and during the course of the stage, they will move up to more than 3000 metres over sea level. Other than in today’s dune stage, the track surface will be hard and rocky, tomorrow. Following a 202-kilometre liaison, the drivers will start into the 301-kilometre special stage that will end with just another three kilometres to go to the bivouac.
Results Stage 2:
1. S. Peterhansel (FRA) / J.-P. Cottret (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 3h 52m 05s
2. C. Sainz (ESP) / T. Gottschalk (GER) Buggy – 3h 52m 51s
3. G. de Villiers (ZAF) / D. von Zitzewitz (GER) Toyota – 3h 57m 39s
4. N. Roma (ESP) / M. Périn (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 3h 59m 30s
5. N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / L. Cruz (ESP) MINI ALL4 Racing – 3h 59m 49s
6. O. Terranova (ARG) / P. Fiúza (POR) MINI ALL4 Racing – 4h 04m 46s
13. K. Holowczyc (POL) / K. Zhiltsov (RUS) MINI ALL4 Racing – 4h 29m 13s
14. F. Villagra (ARG) / J. P. Companc (ARG) MINI ALL4 Racing – 4h 29m 37s
18. M. Kaczmarski (POL) / F. Palmeiro (POR) MINI ALL4 Racing – 4h 43m 33s
22. V. Vasilyev (RUS) / V. Yevtyekhov (UKR) MINI ALL4 Racing – 4h 54m 37s
24. B. Garafulic (CHI) / G. Picard (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 4h 58m 57s
30. S. Schott (GER) / H. Schmidt (GER) MINI ALL4 Racing – 5h 09m 44s
32. A. Yacopini (ARG) / M. J. Scopinaro (ARG) BMW X3 CC – 5h 18m 21s
40. Zhou Yong (CHN) / Hong Yu Pan (CHN) MINI ALL4 Racing – 5h 40m 27s
Overall Results after Stage 2:
1. S. Peterhansel (FRA) / J.-P. Cottret (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 6h 17m 02s
2. C. Sainz (ESP) / T. Gottschalk (GER) Buggy – 6h 17m 30s
3. N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / L. Cruz (ESP) MINI ALL4 Racing – 6h 21m 12s
4. N. Roma (ESP) / M. Périn (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 6h 21m 21s
5. O. Terranova (ARG) / P. Fiúza (POR) MINI ALL4 Racing – 6h 25m 33s
9. K. Holowczyc (POL) / K. Zhiltsov (RUS) MINI ALL4 Racing – 6h 54m 10s
12. F. Villagra (ARG) / J. P. Companc (ARG) MINI ALL4 Racing – 6h 56m 22s
16. M. Kaczmarski (POL) / F. Palmeiro (POR) MINI ALL4 Racing – 7h 16m 32s
19. V. Vasilyev (RUS) / V. Yevtyekhov (UKR) MINI ALL4 Racing – 7h 23m 13s
20. B. Garafulic (CHI) / G. Picard (FRA) MINI ALL4 Racing – 7h 35m 39s
25. S. Schott (GER) / H. Schmidt (GER) MINI ALL4 Racing – 7h 47m 36s
27. A. Yacopini (ARG) / M. J. Scopinaro (ARG) BMW X3 CC – 7h 50m 00s
31. Zhou Yong (CHN) / Hong Yu Pan (CHN) MINI ALL4 Racing – 8h 14m 07s