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Cross Country – Terranova and Graue claim second World Cup victory

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The X-Raid MINI JCW Team crew of Orlando Terranova and Ronnie Graue won Baja Aragón, the fourth round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas, their second consecutive victory of the season. The Argentineans were fastest through three of the four selective sections to reach the finish three minutes and 36 seconds ahead of Joan ‘Nani’ Roma and Alex Haro. Jakub Przygoński and Timo Gottschalk took the final podium position, making it a podium lockout for Mini.

The second and final leg of Baja Aragón took the crews over the same two stages, the shorter of the two run first before the rally-deciding 164.78 kilometre section that brought the field back to Teruel and the podium.

Terranova started the day with just over three minutes in hand to Martin Prokop and powered through the first short stage to claim his third stage win. He was able to ease the pace through the final section to preserve an advantage established from the outset. “To win you need to be clever, winning was the goal and now we will fight for the Championship,” said Terranova. “It’s my first victory here having finished second on four occasions. The fight for the title is close and we’ll be pushing in the next rallies.” After two events this season, Terranova has now moved into second position in the World Cup standings.

Nani Roma, a nine-time winner and competing in his 21st Baja Aragón, moved from fourth overnight to second in the first stage. He claimed fastest time in the final section, the best stage of the rally for the Spaniard. “In the end I’m happy, I felt the speed,” he said. “Three Minis on the podium, it’s a great result for the team.”

Jakub Przygoński, third last night, maintained position and second fastest in the final stage guaranteed an impressive 1-2-3 for the Mini John Cooper Works Rally. “I’m really happy, it was tough but we’re on the podium,” said the Pole. “The rally was hard on the car and the brakes and we finished the last 30 kilometres with zero brakes. But in the end, a great result.”

Martin Prokop and Jan Tománek were on course for second but knew they had a fight on their hands from the chasing pack. They dropped from second to fifth after the first stage but ultimately finished fourth when Bernhard Ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul were forced to retire with an unconfirmed transmission related problem. “It’s been an up and down weekend; we did our best but it’s not really a good result,” said the Ford Raptor driver. “It was maximum attack from everyone and in the end we were slowest today. It was the most we could do with this car, we risked a lot in the final stage but it was a nice fight.”

After a difficult opening leg, Vladimir Vasilyev and Konstantin Zhiltsov - last year’s winners - bounced back today and were able to move a place up the leaderboard into fifth, despite a puncture. The Russians, who provisionally maintain their World Cup lead by four points, overhauled João Ramos and Victor Jesus, the Portuguese crew dropping to sixth with two punctures in the last stage. “The weekend has been good and the result is fantastic,” said Ramos. “I’m with some of the best guys but I was aiming for a top five finish before the start. I know what I can do, have a good car and we could have achieved that without some issues.”

Luis Recuenco/Victor Alijas, Helder Carapeta/Rui Pereira, Fernando Alvarez/Juan Monasterolo and Laurent Poletti/Cyril Debet rounded out the top 10 positions.

In the T3 category, Santiago Navarro and Dani Oliveras claimed the win in their Can-Am Maverick X3, the Spaniards a mere five seconds ahead of the Russian crew of Alexander Dorosinskiy and Dmitry Pavlov. Fifth in the category was enough for Michele Cinotto to provisionally maintain his series lead. After a big battle, T2 was finally won by Portugal's João Ferreira/David Monteiro who finished ahead of their fellow countrymen, Nuno Corvo/José Martins.

The contenders now head to Hungary for the fifth round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas (8-11 August).

Baja Aragón – Provisional Final Classification


Orlando Terranova/Ronnie Graue

Mini John Cooper Works Rally

6hr 21min 40sec


Joan ‘Nani’ Roma/Alex Haro

Mini John Cooper Works Rally

6hr 25min 16sec


Jakub Przygoński/Timo Gottschalk

Mini John Cooper Works Rally

6hr 25min 52sec


Martin Prokop/Jan Tománek

Ford Raptor RS Cross Country

6hr 27min 13sec


Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov

Toyota Hilux

6hr 33min 57sec


João Ramos/Victor Jesus

Toyota Hilux

6hr 38min 09sec


Luis Recuenco/Victor Alijas

Mini X-Raid Cross Country

6hr 43min 57sec


Helder Carapeta/Rui Pereira

Range Rover Evoque

6hr 58min 39sec


Fernando Alvarez/Juan Monasterolo

Volkswagen Amarock

7hr 00min 09sec


Laurent Poletti/Cyril Debet

MMP Original

7hr 03min 07sec