At the end of five days of desert-rally action, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel secured the win in the OiLibya Rallye du Maroc. Al-Attiyah’s toughest rival in the battle for the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup title. Vladimir Vasilyev, finished runner-up. Nonetheless, Al-Attiyah gained an uncatchable championship lead by winning the penultimate round of the season.
Mikko Hirvonen made a successful desert debut in the Mini All4 Racing. Having already finished third in the Baja Aragon, the Finn and his experienced French co-driver Michel Périn now secured the fifth place in Morocco. They completed the five stages without encountering any major problems and on day three, Hirvonen even caused a stir by finishing third behind Carlos Sainz and Al-Attiyah. In the end, his gap to fourth place amounted to two minutes and to third place to four minutes.
The British-German pairing of Harry Hunt andd Andreas Schulz finished two positions behind the Finn, in seventh. Apart from day one, Hunt made it to the top 10 in every special stage. Adam Malysz and Xavier Panseri followed right behind him in eighth. On the first two days, several circumstances cost the pairing valuable time but afterwards, they displayed a lot of fighting spirit and worked their way back up to the top 10 in the overall rankings.
Although having finished 15th doesn’t seem to be particularly impressive, Erik van Loon and Wouter Rosegaar delivered in great style. On day two, they even succeeded in finishing third. In the third special stage, however, the two Dutchmen got stuck and lost for two hours. Without this incident, securing a top-seven result would have been possible for them. “I am ready for the Dakar Rally. We have shown what we’ve got. I am very proud about our excellent result on the second day, reaching the fourth position, and our fastest split time on the final day. The bad luck of the day after was a pity, but Wouter and I learned a lot again and we cannot wait until the start in Buenos Aires on the 2nd of January 2016,” Loon said.
Jakub “Kuba” Przygonski, who contested his first desert rally at the wheel of the Mini All4 Racing, and Andrei Rudnitski also had bad luck as their drive shaft broke in the third special stage. But the pair didn’t give up, repaired the car and finished the special stage with a three-hour deficit. They also worked their way back up, in the following days, and finished 18th in the end.