CC Joan Roma seals Baja Spain Aragon win for BMW


BAJA SPAIN ARAGON (July 23rd-26th, 2009)

FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 3 of 5


For immediate release

Sunday, July 26th, 2009





  • Peterhansel and Cottret finish second on X-raid team debut
  • Electrical problems cost Chicherit and Thörner top five finish
  • Campos seals third for Yser Racing Team; Da Maia in 10th

ALCANIZ (Spain): Joan ‘Nani’ Roma and Michel Périn clinched outright victory for the X-raid team in the 2009 Baja Spain Aragon, round three of the FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, in Alcaniz on Sunday.


The success was the first for the new partnership on their second event in a BMW X3 CC and a superb second win in a car for Roma on his native Spanish Baja – he won the event with the late Henri Magne in 2005 and also clinched four wins on a motorcycle. Périn’s achievement marked his fourth win on the Baja Spain Aragón and his first since 1997.


But Roma and Périn were beaten on three of the four long specials and the Prologue stage by X-raid team debutants, Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret. The French duo led at the start of the final morning, but minor brake problems cost them valuable minutes on the third stage and they were unable to claw back the lost time on the final selective section.


“Apart from the test in Morocco, this was my first time in the new car and I am quite happy with second place,” said Peterhansel. “I managed to win three long stages and that is very pleasing, but we had a little problem this morning with the brakes, lost some time and that cost me the chance to win.


“Still, I am quite happy. It has been seven months since I was driving and to be on a fast pace from the start is a good feeling. If we are going to have a small problem, I would rather have it on this event than on the Dakar.”


Guerlain Chicherit and Tina Thörner lost their chance of taking a podium finish on the first stage on Saturday morning, when they lost over two hours with electrical problems. They managed to repair the car and set competitive times on the subsequent three selective sections, but were unable to reach the top 30.


X-raid personnel also supported the two-car Yser Racing Team entry from Portugal. Filipe Campos and Jaime Baptista enjoyed another excellent performance in their BMW X3 CC to claim third position and a clean sweep of the podium places for the BMW team. Bernardo Moniz da Maia and Joana Sotto-Mayor finished 10th overall in the fifth X-raid BMW X3 CC.


Team director Sven Quandt was delighted with progress on the demanding event, where outside temperatures reached 45 degrees Centigrade at one point.


“It is very pleasing to earn a 1-2-3 finish on this event,” said Quandt. “We knew it would not be easy and the conditions were hot, dusty and tricky. Guerlain had an electrical problem, which took him some time to repair, and we had a minor brake issue with Stéphane’s car this morning, but otherwise it was a great all-round performance for our team and another useful step in our ongoing development.”


The X-raid crews had got off to a useful start in the timed 5.55km prologue stage, with Peterhansel and Cottret setting the fastest time of 4m 38.7s to edge Campos and Baptista by just 0.2s. Chicherit and Roma set the third and fourth fastest times heading into the first of the longer stages on Saturday. Da Maia set the 12th fastest time.


Peterhansel extended his overall lead to 11 seconds with the fastest time in the 180.45km selective section between Belchite and Fuendetodos. Roma squeezed passed Campos with the second quickest time to take a similar position in the overall standings, Da Maia was 17th, but there were problems for Chicherit, who lost over two hours repairing an electrical gremlin and slipped to 58th overall.


Peterhansel and Cottret continued to enjoy a successful X-raid competition debut with the fastest time on Saturday afternoon’s 130.73 selective section around La Muela. The French crew edged a further 16 seconds in front of Roma, with Campos sealing the third fastest time and Chicherit recovering with the fourth time to climb through the field to 51st place. Da Maia held 10th overall.


The two selective sections were repeated on Sunday and Roma set the overall fastest time and snatched the outright lead when Peterhansel dropped over nine minutes with overheating brakes and slipped to third overall behind Campos. The X-raid trio continued to dominate the podium places, but Chicherit set the sixth fastest time and pulled up into 38th position.


Peterhansel managed to redress the balance and secure the fastest time on the fourth and final selective section by the margin of one minute over Chicherit, but Roma was classified in fourth and that was sufficient for the Catalan to claim a stunning victory on home territory. His eventual winning margin over Peterhansel was 4m 03s.


Campos slipped back to third place with the seventh fastest time on the final stage, while Da Maia finished in 10th position and Chicherit managed to recover from first day delays to reach the finish at the new Motorland Aragón motor sport complex in the outskirts of the town of Alcaňiz just outside the top 30.


Baja Spain Aragon – final results

1. Joan Roma (E)/Michel Périn (F) BMW X3 CC                           7h 25m 00s

2. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) BMW X3 CC            7h 29m 03s

3. Filipe Campos (P)/Jaime Baptista (P) BMW X3 CC                             7h 34m 14s

4. Nicolas Misslin (F)/Jean-Michel Polato (F) Mitsubishi MRX 09             7h 43m 19s

5. Tonni van Deijne (NL)/Wouter Rosegaar (NL) Mitsubishi Pajero   8h 11m 54s

6. Rui Sousa (P)/Carlos Silva (P) Isuzu D-Max                                     8h 14m 41s

7. Miroslav Zapletal (CZ)/Tomas Ourednicek (CZ) Mitsubishi L200            8h 33m 12s

8. Jean-Louis Schlesser (F)/Jean-Paul Forthomme (F) Schlesser-Buggy   8h 29m 26s

9. Maurizio Traglio (I)/Fabian Lurquin (B) Nissan Pathfinder                      8h 31m 24s

10. Bernardo Moniz da Maia (P)/Joana Sotto-Mayor (P) BMW X3 CC            8h 33m 03s

TBA. Guerlain Chicherit (F)/Tina Thörner (S) BMW X3 CC                 9h 41m 43s      




Further information and photos are available at www.x-raid.de or contact Stefanie Marquard/Thomas Quandt at X-raid GmbH, Tel: + 49 (0) 6147 204670, E-mail: s.marquard@x-raid.de and t.quandt@x-raid.de.

Date issued: 26/07/2009

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