- Final preparation for the 2020 Rally Dakar for Stéphane Peterhansel
- Yasir Seaidan to start in the MINI JCW Buggy
Today, X-raid lines up at the Riyadh Rally in Saudi Arabia with two MINI John Cooper Works Buggy. With the Dakar Rally approaching fast, Stéphane Peterhansel will take the opportunity to familiarise himself with the terrain. However, he will be accompanied in the co-driver seat by Portugal’s Paulo Fiuza, who has already gained rally experience in Saudi Arabia.
Following medical examinations at the doctor, with whom the team has been working for years, Andrea Peterhansel has not been given clearance for the coming Baja. Further checks will be performed over the next few days. For years, X-raid has ensured that drivers are subjected to a comprehensive medical check near the company headquarters both when they join the team and before every Dakar.
Also in action is Saudi driver Yasir Seaidan, who will be at the wheel of a MINI JCW Buggy for the first time with his co-driver Alexey Kuzmich (RUS). Seaidan currently leads the Saudi off-road championship. The Riyadh Rally is the penultimate of the 2019 season’s five events.
The Baja is held around the Saudi capital Riyadh. In total, the competitors will cover 958 kilometres, 470 km of them against the clock. The event starts today with a short, four-kilometre prologue. The competitors then contest one, 370-kilometre stage on Friday, before the Baja ends with a 160-kilometre stage on Saturday.
“Right after the press conference last week in Paris we have passed X-raid’s yearly medical check. As there was not so much time left until the rally in Saudi Arabia we, X-raid and the doctor, decided to wait for the results and evaluations before Andrea gets back into the rally car. That is why Paulo will navigate me in the upcoming Baja. I have known Paulo for a long time through X-raid. Not only as co-pilot, we also got to know each other off the rally during the X-raid team trainings. In addition, he knows the terrain in Saudi Arabia from past events.”