The first part of the marathon stage – from Iquique to Bolivia and vice versa – is over and was won by the Argentineans Orlando Terranova and Bernardo ‘Ronnie’ Graue in the red and black MINI ALL4 Racing. In addition, the other two Monster Energy Rally Raid Team crews also made it to the top five. Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL) and Xavier Panseri (FRA) took the blue and black MINI ALL4 Racing to fourth position, with Nani Roma (ESP) and his French navigator Michel Périn finishing fifth.
None of the three Monster Energy Rally Raid Team MINI ALL4 Racing vehicles suffered any puncture, during the course of the 321-kilometre stage. Very good news as this means that each of the teams can use all their three spare tyres for tomorrow’s second half of the marathon stage.
In the opening stages, Terranova slightly held his horses but then he really went for it and took the lead a waypoint five, with about 200 kilometres covered. And he also proved to be the fastest in the later sections. “The special stage was rather tough and the mud didn’t make things easier,” the Argentinean revealed. “Now we are going to check the car, change the tyres and then, we should make it to tomorrow’s bivouac without problems.”
In tomorrow’s stage, the competitors will have to cope with several challenges: The start will take place – depending on the weather conditions – on a salt lake located at Uyuni: here, the drivers have to go flat out for a long time, a somewhat unusual situation in the off-road sport. Furthermore, the entire section in Bolivia is located 3.600 metres above sea level. A true challenge for both the competitors and their vehicles.