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Kuba Przygoński and Timo Gottschalk didn’t have a chance to compete in the penultimate stage of the rally held in the United Arab Emirates. Yet before the start of the special stage, in the road section, the gearbox in the car of Orlen Team’s crew broke.

Przygoński and Gottschalk may be disappointed with developments in the ultimate phase of Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. After their victory in Stage 3 and realistic chances for the podium in the rally, the competitors driving MINI John Cooper Works Buggy had to resign themselves to the failure of one of parts of the gearbox, what made their start to the penultimate special impossible. 

“The car broke on the liaison before the special. Mechanics tried to fix it, but they didn’t manage. It occurred that our clutch shaft, being the main transmission, was damaged. Unfortunately, we need to drive more kilometres with our new Buggy, to eliminate in it all those elements that break. Pity, because we had a very good pace in this event. Yesterday we won the stage and there was a big chance for us to be high overall. But sometimes motorsport is like that. Our car will be fixed and for sure we’ll start in tomorrow’s last stage,” Kuba Przygoński, Orlen Team’s driver says.

Not starting in Wednesday’s special stage of Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge made Przygoński and Gottschalk unable to be reckoned with in the fight for the highest positions in overall standings of the rally. Stephane Peterhansel (MINI John Cooper Works Rally) kept the leader’s position and won the stage. In the last stage the French, having now 18:35 advantage over 2nd-placed Al-Qassimi (Peugeot 3008 DKR), will defend his position. Aron Domżała showed his best side (Toyota Hilux Overdrive). Polish driver reached the finish of the stage setting 2nd fastest time and jumped do 3rd place overall. 

Competitors have the last stage of Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge to go, which will decide on the final results of the race. On Thursday they’ll tackle a 214,47 km special stage.

Source: Press release of Orlen Team
Translation: Anna Michalska, Rita Kónya

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