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Vladimir Vasilyev (RU) has won the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge for MINI. The Russian drove an uncontested victory in the MINI ALL4 Racing used by the Monster Energy X-raid Team and finished almost 48 minutes ahead of second-placed Adam Malaysz (PL) after five legs of the demanding desert rally.

With this success, the experienced Dakar driver Vasilyev also took the lead in the overall standings of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies. He’s now leading the championship with a total of 63 points ahead of Yazeed Alrajhi (60).

“I am over the moon to have brought home my first victory of the season here in Abu Dhabi,” said Vasilyev, pleased with himself after a total of 2,015.8 kilometres. “The competition was very strong once again and the conditions were not easy due to the fine desert sand. However, my MINI was extremely reliable again. A big advantage at this difficult rally.” At the first two world cup rallies in Russia and Italy, the Russian in the MINI ALL4 Racing, which is based on the MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, finished in second and fourth.
Overall, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge was successful for MINI: Four MINI ALL4 Racing cars finished in the top ten. Stephan Schott (DE) finished in fifth, Erik Van Loon (NL) in sixth and Aidyn Rakhimbayev (KZ) finished in tenth place. Overall the MINI ALL4 Racing demonstrated once more its reliability in difficult and hot conditions winning all five stages in Abu Dhabi.

The fourth race in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies takes place in ten days time in Qatar. From 20th to 25th April it's back to the desert, where the MINI ALL4 Racing will be able to prove its competitive ability on sand for the third time this year.

Final results of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge:
1. Vasilyev (RU) MINI ALL4 Racing – 17h 10m 19s
2. Malysz (PL) Toyota – 17h 58m 14s
3. Zapletal (CZ) H3 – 18h 29m 58s
4. Al Helei (AE) Nissan – 18h 30m 06s
5. Schott (DE) MINI ALL4 Racing – 18h 43m 56s
6. Van Loon (NL) MINI ALL4 Racing – 19h 07m 51s

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