- Third place for Kuba Przygonski
- Crews left to their own devices this evening
The MINI John Cooper Works Rally crews once again produced a strong team performance across the board on stage four, from Arequipa to Tacna. Jakub ‘Kuba’ Przygonski (POL) and Tom Colsoul (BEL) finished third today, followed by Joan ‘Nani’ Roma and Alex Haro (both ESP). Their team-mates Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA) and Timo Gottschalk (GER) ended stage four in sixth place. Boris Garafulic (CHI) and Filipe Palmeiro (POR) also had a good day, finishing ninth. The drivers must survive the evening without their mechanics. While they spend the night in Tacna, the teams remain in Arequipa.
Przygonski and Colsoul remain within striking distance of the leaders. Third place on today’s stage saw then climb one position into fourth place in the overall standings. “That was a long, tough stage,” said the Pole, summing up day four of the 2019 Dakar. “There were big rocks littered throughout the entire stage – that was tough for the car, the tires, and for us. We tried to push, but were frustrated by a few minor navigational errors. As far as we can say, the car is in good condition. Let’s wait and see what we find when we take a closer look.”
Roma and Haro also continued their good form, climbing into third place overall. “It was not easy today. There was a lot of dust, fesh-fesh and rocks. The route was already fairly wrecked,” said the MINI JCW Rally driver. “We obviously wanted to look after the car and, above all, to avoid any punctures. That was not so easy on today’s route, but we are happy.”
Al-Rajhi and Gottschalk were not happy with the way an eventful day panned out. The dropped from second to fifth in the overall standings – but are still in touch with the leaders. “We had a difficult stage with a lot of problems,” said the Saudi. “We got stuck in the fesh-fesh, as there were motorcycles in the way. Later on, we had to stop twice because of punctures. Then we came across another bike, which had stopped without any warning behind a dune. We stopped to check that he was okay. That all cost us a lot of time. It was not a good day, but the coming days are sure to be better.”
The drivers have a long day ahead of them tomorrow, before they rejoin their teams. In total, they must cover 714 kilometers, 450 of which are against the clock.