Vasilyev leading the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

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The Abu Dhabi Desert Challange has reached the halfway point and it's Russian driver Vladmir Vasilyev currently leading the way.

Munich (DE). After finishing second at the Baja Russia, Vladimir Vasilyev (RU) continues to be in top shape in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies. The Russian is currently leading the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in the MINI ALL4 Racing entered by the Monster Energy X-raid Team. With Stephan Schott (DE) in sixth place overall and Erik van Loon (NL) in seventh there are two more MINI ALL4 Racing in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge’s top ten.

After the first leg, 2014 Dakar Rally winner Joan “Nani“ Roma (ES) led the competition by more than eleven minutes in his MINI ALL4 Racing before he had to retire with stomach problems. Then Vasilyev took the win on leg 2 and the overall lead which he was able to extend to more than nine minutes over Marek Dabrovski (PL) on leg 3.

Khalifa Al Mutaiwei
Khalifa Al Mutaiwei

Photo by: Marian Chytka

The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is the third round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies which ends on 10th April. Ten days later the X-raid Team already sets off again for the next World Cup event at the Sealine Cross Country Rally (20th-25th April) in Qatar. The World Cup offers the opportunity to test the cars in different conditions and to put on more kilometres. Already the reliability of the MINI ALL4 Racing stems from the car’s careful development since its rollout in December 2010.

In November 2013, the X-raid Team won the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies for the sixth time in a row. With Vasilyev leading the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge he is in a promising position to also claim the overall lead in the World Cup standings.

Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Overall Standings After Leg 3:

1. Vasilyev (RU) MINI ALL4 Racing – 10h 58m 10s

2. Dabrowski (PL) Toyota – 11h 07m 58s

3. Malysz (PL) Toyota – 11h 24m 44s

4. Zapletal (CZ) H3 – 11h 43m 04s

5. Al Helei (AE) Nissan – 11h49m 26s

6. Schott (DE) MINI ALL4 Racing – 12h 07m 11s

7. Van Loon (NL) MINI ALL4 Racing – 12h 49m 35s

BMW Group PressClub

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About this article
Series RALLY
Article type Leg reports
Tags abu dhabi desert challenge, joan roma, mini cooper, rally, vladmir vasilyev