Toronto Skyline Spring


After trying to deke us out several times winter is finally gone and spring has arrived in Toronto. MINIs are either coming out of hibernation or eschewing their heavy winter boots in favour of cruising/dashing/hurtling about in thier sexy summer runners. If one thing goes well with Motoring, it’s music. Technology has made it easy for us to share streaming playlists with each other and MINI has made it easy for us play that music in our cars.

Banner Design: Elwira Wozniak of Wozcreative.com

We’re currently using Google Music All Access Pass for the MINI Mixtape because it’s one of the only streaming music services (the other being Spotify Premium) that allows users to share curated playlists with each other. Both Google Music All Access Pass and Spotify Premium are only free for the first 30 days after which you have to pay (both are currently $9.99/month). If you know of any better/freer options, please mention them in the comments below.

MINI Mixtape banner design courtesy of Elwira Wozniak of Wozcreative.com

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Toronto MINI Club is ready to take on TARGA Newfoundland September 13-18, 2015. After Torontonians John Hume and Nicole Troster took first and second in the Grand Touring division in 2014 with their one two punch of Gen 2 JCW GP and Gen 1 JCW GP respectively, a few more members are looking to add to Toronto MINI Club’s domination of the event.

A quick background: Targa Newfoundland is a very rare event for North America. For the past 14 years Newfoundland has been the scene of a public road rally that spans 1500 kilometers. It is a chance to see the amazing, unique landscape in a highly competitive and exciting setting.
More info here.

Kyle Connor, a new member to Toronto MINI Club, but a massive name in the MINI community, has decided to take on this memorable challenge by entering his purpose built Countryman “Kowalski”. Featuring a custom built engine and exhaust, plus suspenion upgrades and a driver who knows how to handle a MINI in this setting, Kyle should be a force to be reckoned with.

He is seeking the support of the MINI Community to help him achieve his goal and to build on the idea that MINIacs do great things together. Check out his fundraising page here to see how you can help and what goodies he offers in return

Also joining Kyle will be Toronto MINI club founder and MINIac Supreme Christina Kroner! Piloting the second place car from last year’s Targa Race, Christina will look to build on the result Nicole set in 2014. Nicole will still be piloting a MINI however so the pack looks to be very well represented from our humble club.


P.S. Huge shoutout to Toronto MINI Club member Elwira (aka ThunderSeven) for her logo created for Kyle seen at the top of this post

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Professional Indycar Driver James Hinchcliffe drove my car…


Photo Evidence

That was to be one of MANY highlights for this unbelievable MINI Canada event on a cold March morning in Orangeville.

En Route

On our way

The day started bright and early when a small group of enthusiastic owners met at MINI Vaughan West and made their way into the Hockley Valley where we discovered many gorgeous vistas and some fantastic twisty roads. Meanwhile, a group had departed from MINI Oakville to make their way through the Forks of the Credit before converging on everyone’s main destination: The Orangeville Fairgrounds.

Pulling in

Pulling in to the Fairgrounds

(Photo Courtesy of Chris Jav)

On arrival everyone was given a free MINI Toque (score!) and were to sign a waiver to ensure that all their Hooniganism would be their responsibility. Papers were signed, cars were warmed up, the excitement was palpable.

During the pre-drive meeting MINI Canada introduced the surprise celebrity who had been flown from Indianapolis just for this event…yes the aforementioned James Hinchcliffe. (watch a short clip from the Globe and Mail featuring Mr. Hinchcliffe and comparing his use of his Indycar vs his daily driver, yes a 2009 JCW MINI. I loved his quote “It’s fast enough that I CAN get into trouble, but not so fast that I WILL get into trouble” link here) What an exciting treat and surprise. The crowd was told that, time permitting, you would be able to ride with him for a hot lap. Safety was priority one, and ensuring the well-being of the safety cones was also a consideration. It was also the only time we have been instructed to turn OFF traction control. Time to line up!

the Line The Line

The course was set out on a flat piece of land adjacent to the main fair building and was essentially a minute-long, snow-covered, hairpin turn, drifters dream. Every corner gave you the opportunity to swing your car sideways before resetting to handle the next bend. Two coaches were there to give guidance before launching off and when finishing and times were kept for each run. The All4 Countryman and Paceman had no problem taking off and heading sideways around every bend without any parking brake assistance. The FWD models, of which there was the majority, had a bit more difficulty launching, and with a little bit of help from the parking brake could get themselves going horizontal. What was consistent regardless of make or model was the smiles on everyone’s face. This has to be the most fun I’ve ever had at a driving-focused event. Each lap you had to decide what your focus would be…fastest time, or maximum sideways? Sideways was ALWAYS the way to go!

They call him the Xiek

They call him the Xiek

Thai - Speed Demon

Thai – King of the Drifters

The Lightwrangler

The Lightwrangler himself

(Photos Courtesy of Chris Jav)

My bro and I on the course

Yours truly with the bro in the Aero

(Photo Courtesy of MINI Canada, Fotographia)

After about 3 runs per car the track started to get incredibly icy and certain sections you almost coasted through just hoping you’d get grip on the other side. There were teams dispatched to remove cars stuck on the side banks, and one bumper did look a little worse for wear. All things considered the driving was steady and eventful for all the right reasons and no one was held up for more than a minute or two. The great advantage to having to line-up between each run was it gave your engine and brakes a little chance to cool as you made your way around to start again. All in everyone had about 6 runs in 2 hours, which was just enough to feel satisfied but wanting MORE! Thanks to fellow Club member Kyle Connor I was able to try out an All4 Countryman and, honestly, this event alone may have changed my mind from considering the new 5 door hatch to the upcoming Clubman. The All4 system was so effortless and fun in the snow, and really in Canada snowy conditions happen more than I care to admit… I think MINI Canada achieved it’s goal of demonstrating it’s amazing All4 system.

Parking Lot

Oh, almost forgot…Hinchcliffe! At first he was mostly just enjoying watching people bomb around, but then, thanks to MINI consultant Keith Smout, he started taking people out for hot laps in THEIR cars. I had the pleasure of meeting Keith a couple of times previous at various events and so he generously came up to my window and said if I could ditch the kiddie seats in the back than James would take my brother and I out for a lap. I don’t think I’ve removed the seats quite that fast before. It was a tremendous learning experience just watching how James would handle my car. He was very generous with the parking brake and never left first. He was quite friendly and it was a huge honour to have someone of that calibre take a seat in the Avro Aero! Should have had him sign the dashboard… You can check out the video of him in my car here.


Rosemont General Store and Cafe

After the driving was done MINI Canada led us all on a beautiful drive back through the Hockley valley and to the Rosemont General Store and Cafe for lunch. I was expecting sandwiches and a drink but in true MINI style they set the bar beyond reach. Greeting us was a full sit-down meal complete with classic British Fare such as Bangers and Mash, or Eggs, Chips and Beans. There were British themed Menu’s and Napkins, and a Snowkyo Drift Placemat. It gave us all the opportunity to unwind and tell tales about our epic morning and meet some new MINIAC friends along the way. The owner of the Rosemont came by and told us how she had saved the store from shutting down and had restored it and even turned it into a community hub. It was such a fantastic little place and one I will definitely be returning to as the weather starts to improve.

Menu Placemat

Overall I can not overstate how amazing this morning was. MINI Canada literally hit it out of the ballpark in every way. The organization, the creativity, the passion, and thoughtfulness of ensuring every owner walked away happy and excited was evident in every facet of the event.

Bravo MINI Canada, and we can’t wait to see if there will be a sequel!

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A reminder that the TORONTO MINI CLUB will be meeting at 10am at Von Doughnuts on the Danforth in Toronto on Sunday the 15th. Prizes generously provided by MINI Canada and MINI Durham will be available to win! and then a short rally to the CIAS to check out the Superleggera and the new F56 JCW.

A great starter event to meet some Club Members!

Please RSVP here


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In August of 2014, coinciding with their involvement with MTTS (MINI Takes the States), Lego launched a Classic Mini Cooper set for purchase. Priced at $120 CAD for the 1077 piece set, this was a part of their “Expert Creator” series which is geared towards older kids and young-at-heart adults to give them a bit of a challenge. The moment I set eyes on it I knew this was a MUST have. It is literally my dream car with the British Racing Green paint, white bonnet stripes, and, of course, the driving lights out front. PERFECTION!

Now $120 is serious cash to lay down and add 13% tax on top of that…eep. I was holding out for Birthday/Christmas and laying down some serious hints, but it was not meant to be…yet. I had been searching out a few on Kijiji to buy, but the savvy sales people had prices jacked up for the holidays and were not budging, but really who is dropping serious coin on the set except the most avid MINIACs and Lego fans?

A couple weeks went by and my patience had paid off. Clearly the lack of a holiday sale had some Lego Kijiji sellers concerned at the prospect of holding on to this too long and I was ready to strike! A seller reached out to me at a lower price than initially offered, and I smelled blood in the air. I countered something close and remember TAX FREE! and he took it! SCORE!

I whisked my daughter off to meet the seller at some random Tims in Pickering and this was the result:

The deal

It looked good as new, unopened…and the guy had a bunch of Star Wars sets in the back seat too…was almost swayed…

So with our new Project acquired Annalise and I were ready to start building! The first thing she noticed was the age range said 16+ to which she replied “I’m only 5 and I can do this!” almost every single time we built.

The box held two, yes TWO books, and eight, yep EIGHT!!! bags of parts. This was going to be AMAZING!

All the goodies

We started by opening the 2 bags labelled one and got straight to work. I justified the price by deciding this would be a fantastic way to spend quality constructive time with my daughter and I’d get a sweet dream car at the end, win win!

The chassis came first. My daughter did all the assembly while I coached and helped with a few things she struggled with connecting (ie those dang “one dot blocks” are so hard to pop together, even I struggle)

Chassis done - 1 hour in

Shifter - 2 hours

After 2 hours we had a floor and a brilliant shift knob.

NOTE: The times I quote are not all at once, we generally did about 30 minutes a night.

The Upholstry - 3hrs

The bottom cushions of the seat. Love the upholstery. Great exercise in patterning for my daughter. Note the spare “donut” in the trunk.

Trunk pan complete with Spare -  3.5hrs

After three and a half hours we had the a good chunk of the back done, including the back bench.

Chairs done 4hrs

Four hours and we have seat that fold and adjustable headrests. We also have the back glass in and the entire rear seating.

We also built this adorable picnic set that fits perfectly in the trunk (boot)

Trunk and Picnic set - 4.5hrs

Moving to the front we started assembling the engine and the Steering wheel and dashboard. The attention to detail was astounding.

Dash - 5.5hrs

At six hours in we had an engine.

Engine - 6hrs

Feeling proud of her work we had moved past the interior/mechanics and started to finish the exterior. Driver’s side door came first.

Driver Door - 7Hrs

Followed shortly by the passenger door and hood. Everything is completely moveable and is incredibly accurate to the real car.

Passenger Door and Hood - 8hrs

The completed trim and windshield after nine hours.

Full body and Trim - 9hrs

And finally the finished product.

Complete Car - 9.5hrs The boot - 9.5hrs

We clocked in at nine and a half hours in total, but that’s with a five year old taking tips and chugging along at her own pace. She loved it every single step of the way and I was amazed at her tenacity to keep going every single night. By the end she was a lot better at reading the plans and figuring out where the pieces went. The question is what is next. Lego offers an amazing VW bus that is about 1300 pieces… which is tempting… I’ve also spotted some aftermarket designers that have built trailers for the Mini… but really I think we are ready for the REAL DEAL, if only my wife agreed.

In conclusion, if you are a fan of Minis or Lego this set is absolutely brilliant. It would have taken me a good 4-6 hours and that’s with all the pieces organized and separated. The attention to detail and the nods to so many quintessential parts of the Mini and the culture are to be commended. Lego did a perfect job and it was worth every penny. If you can grab a set you will not be disappointed.




Congratulations to Nasser Al-Attiyah on his second Dakar victory!

Nasser Al-Attiyah started the 2015 Dakar with a win on the very first stage but was handed down a 2 minute time penalty for speeding in the link section that cost him the stage win and the overall lead. Still, the Qatari driver had sent his rivals a clear message: he was going to set the pace this year and win it all and the very next day, it was his X-Raid MINI All4 on the stage podium once again and in the overall standings. Al-Attiyah would go on to win four of the thirteen stages of the 2015, but his position on top was far from secure and the Toyota drivers piled pressure on him. By the end however, Toyota driver Giniel de Villiers was the only man who challenged the no. 301 Mini with his consistent pace, but by then he had fallen 36 minutes back. To put it bluntly, the 2015 Dakar was Nasser’s to lose and unfortunately for the other drivers he faltered only a few times, but never failed.


The news wasn’t all good for the MINI drivers as defending champion Nani Roma’s dreams of a repeat were already shattered in the first 14km of stage 1 when his MINI ground to a halt after it lost all oil pressure an finished the stage under tow. The Spaniard did come back to win stage 9, but ended up crashing out of the rally the very next day.


Local hero Orlando Terranova was also disappointed when his MINI was knocked out of contention in stage 4 after suffering mechanical troubles stemming from a rollover at the end of the previous day. Despite this, the Argentinian driver set himself a blistering pace throughout the rally to climb from 46th to 18th place in the overall standings. By the time the race was over he had grabbed four stage victories and could have been a contender for first were it not for that rollover shaking up his MINI.

Former teammate Stéphane Peterhansel came to the 2015 Dakar flying the Peugeot colours in the rally comeback of the lion badge. The Frenchman’s bid for glory was tied to the unbaptized Peugeot 2008 DKR to Buenos Aires and mechanical woes relegated him to an 11th place finish. Robby Gordon also came to the Rally with his yet-untested custom GORDINI racer but a series of flats and mechanical gremlins knocked him out of contention on the second day. Mechanical demons dashed Yazeed Al-Rajhi career best Dakar on stage 11 when the third place driver was unable to get to the starting line due and was forced to withdraw. Still he and his Toyota Hilux will be a team that the MINIs need worry about in the 2016 edition of the Dakar.


Al-Rajhi’s pain was Krzysztof Hołowczyc’s gain. The Polish MINI driver celebrated his first ever podium finish on his tenth Dakar, 1 h 32′ behind the utterly dominant Al-Attiyah. Al-Rajhi’s misfortune also benefited the MINIs of Erik Van Loon rolled across the finish to a career best 4th place while Dakar rookie Vladimir Vasilyev’s clawed his way back 5th place from 14th.


When all was said and done, the MINIs would occupy 4 of the top 5 spots, 5 of the top 10, and had won 11 of the 13 timed special stages. There is a word for a performance like that: domination. The X-Raid MINI Racing drivers undoubtedly enjoyed thier utter and complete domination of the 2015 Dakar, but for the competition it means another season of tweaking and tuning thier vehicles during the 2015 off-road racing season in hopes of besting the MINIs in 2016.

Overall Standings at the end of the 2015 Dakar

Pos. Name Make Time Variation Penalty
1 301 AL-ATTIYAH (QAT), BAUMEL (FRA) MINI 040:32:25 00:00:00
2 303 DE VILLIERS (ZAF), VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU) TOYOTA 041:07:59 00:35:34 00:00:00
3 307 HOLOWCZYC (POL), PANSERI (FRA) MINI 042:04:26 01:32:01 00:00:00
4 314 VAN LOON (NLD), ROSEGAAR (NLD) MINI 043:34:17 03:01:52 00:00:00
5 310 VASILYEV (RUS), ZHILTSOV (RUS) MINI 043:45:06 03:12:41 00:00:00
6 309 LAVIEILLE (FRA), MAIMON (FRA) TOYOTA 043:48:23 03:15:58 00:00:00
7 315 TEN BRINKE (NLD), COLSOUL (BEL) TOYOTA 044:14:27 03:42:02 00:00:00
8 306 SOUSA (PRT), FIUZA (PRT) MITSUBISHI 044:17:24 03:44:59 00:00:00
9 329 RAKHIMBAYEV (KAZ), NIKOLAEV (RUS) MINI 044:41:09 04:08:44 00:00:00
10 320 CHABOT (FRA), PILLOT (FRA) SMG 045:15:01 04:42:36 00:00:00
11 302 PETERHANSEL (FRA), COTTRET (FRA) PEUGEOT 045:51:40 05:19:15 00:00:00
12 319 GARAFULIC (CHL), PALMEIRO (PRT) MINI 046:00:34 05:28:09 00:00:00
13 332 ZHOU (CHN), SCHULZ (DEU) MINI 046:07:49 05:35:24 00:00:00
14 326 SIREYJOL (FRA), BEGUIN (BEL) BUGGY 046:25:14 05:52:49 00:00:00
15 333 LACHAUME (FRA), BRUCY (FRA) OPTIMUS 046:42:13 06:09:48 00:00:00
16 327 POULTER (ZAF), HOWIE (ZAF) TOYOTA 046:57:34 06:25:09 00:00:00
17 340 ISSABAYEV (KAZ), DEMYANENKO (RUS) TOYOTA 047:27:31 06:55:06 00:00:00
18 305 TERRANOVA (ARG), GRAUE (ARG) MINI 047:39:19 07:06:54 00:00:00
19 308 GORDON (USA), CAMPBELL (USA) GORDINI 048:20:05 07:47:40 00:00:00
20 342 MORENO PIAZZOLI (CHL), ARAYA DIAZ (CHL) SAM-MERCEDES 049:08:42 08:36:17 00:00:00
21 316 SPATARO (ARG), LOZADA (ARG) RENAULT 049:14:51 08:42:26 00:00:00
22 334 SCHOTT (DEU), SCHMIDT (DEU) MINI 049:51:23 09:18:58 00:00:00
23 311 DABROWSKI (POL), POWELL (GBR) TOYOTA 051:41:08 11:08:43 00:00:00
24 339 VANAGAS (LTU), RUDNITSKI (BLR) TOYOTA 051:42:18 11:09:53 00:00:00
25 360 LEAL DOS SANTOS (PRT), SACHS (BRA) NISSAN 052:01:26 11:29:01 00:00:00

Orlando Terranova stuck with the MINIs in front of him in the overall standings to offer up his support for the stage before sprinting to the finish to win the stage. Behind him was teammate Vladimir Vasilyev, Renault driver Emiliano Spataro, overall leader Nasser Al-Attiyah and Toyota driver Bernhard Ten Brinke, all within 2 minutes of his arrival.

Nasser Al-Attiyah started the stage, but he quickly showed that he is now playing a careful long game to protect his overall lead from 2009 champion Giniel De Villiers and his Toyota Hilux. De Villiers likewise chose to play it safe because of the 35 minute gap between them means that his only chance at an overall win is for the Qatari driver to make some serious mistakes and his 1 hour lead over 3rd place Krzysztof Holowczyc can afford him a cautious drive to the finish.

Overall Standings After Stage 12:

Pos. Name Make Time Variation Penalty
1 301 AL-ATTIYAH (QAT), BAUMEL (FRA) MINI 040:18:30 00:00:00
2 303 DE VILLIERS (ZAF), VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU) TOYOTA 040:54:09 00:35:39 00:00:00
3 307 HOLOWCZYC (POL), PANSERI (FRA) MINI 041:50:21 01:31:51 00:00:00
4 314 VAN LOON (NLD), ROSEGAAR (NLD) MINI 043:20:04 03:01:34 00:00:00
5 310 VASILYEV (RUS), ZHILTSOV (RUS) MINI 043:30:49 03:12:19 00:00:00
6 309 LAVIEILLE (FRA), MAIMON (FRA) TOYOTA 043:33:46 03:15:16 00:00:00
7 315 TEN BRINKE (NLD), COLSOUL (BEL) TOYOTA 044:00:23 03:41:53 00:00:00
8 306 SOUSA (PRT), FIUZA (PRT) MITSUBISHI 044:03:05 03:44:35 00:00:00
9 329 RAKHIMBAYEV (KAZ), NIKOLAEV (RUS) MINI 044:26:17 04:07:47 00:00:00
10 320 CHABOT (FRA), PILLOT (FRA) SMG 045:00:07 04:41:37 00:00:00

Local hero Orlando Terranova takes some time off the race for some press shots.

And to visit with fans…

Just because Krzysztof Holowczyc could pace himself, doesn’t mean that the going was easy.

Erik Loon had to keep an aggressive pace with Christian Levielle just 9 minutes behind him at the start.

Vladimir Vasilyev’s second place finish put him 3 minutes in front of Christian Levielle and into the top 5.


Nasser Al-Attiyah continues to set the pace for the Dakar 2015 with a fifth stage victory; the Qatari is two stages away from winning his second Dakar. Despite the blistering pace, Orlando Terranova and Giniel De Villiers were hot on the Qatari drivers heels from start to finish, arriving 27 seconds and 39 seconds behind him.

Yazeed Alrajhi had mechanical problems with his Toyota just several kilometres into the day’s special and was forced to withdraw. His exit and thier own consistency allowed the MINIs of Krzysztof Holowczyc and Erik Van Loon to move into 3rd and 4th place respectively. The withdrawal of the the 3rd place Toyota is a reminder that even if you beat the other drivers, the Atacama desert and the Andes can conspire to can beat you.

Overall Standings After Stage 11:

Pos. Name Make Time Variation Penalty
1 301 AL-ATTIYAH (QAT), BAUMEL (FRA) MINI 037:12:47 00:00:00
2 303 DE VILLIERS (ZAF), VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU) TOYOTA 037:41:48 00:29:01 00:00:00
3 307 HOLOWCZYC (POL), PANSERI (FRA) MINI 038:41:36 01:28:49 00:00:00
4 314 VAN LOON (NLD), ROSEGAAR (NLD) MINI 040:06:56 02:54:09 00:00:00
5 309 LAVIEILLE (FRA), MAIMON (FRA) TOYOTA 040:17:08 03:04:21 00:00:00
6 310 VASILYEV (RUS), ZHILTSOV (RUS) MINI 040:26:13 03:13:26 00:00:00
7 315 TEN BRINKE (NLD), COLSOUL (BEL) TOYOTA 040:54:27 03:41:40 00:00:00
8 306 SOUSA (PRT), FIUZA (PRT) MITSUBISHI 040:57:07 03:44:20 00:00:00
9 329 RAKHIMBAYEV (KAZ), NIKOLAEV (RUS) MINI 041:15:56 04:03:09 00:00:00
10 320 CHABOT (FRA), PILLOT (FRA) SMG 041:39:16 04:26:29 00:00:00
11 302 PETERHANSEL (FRA), COTTRET (FRA) PEUGEOT 042:29:08 05:16:21 00:00:00
12 319 GARAFULIC (CHL), PALMEIRO (PRT) MINI 042:31:14 05:18:27 00:00:00
13 332 ZHOU (CHN), SCHULZ (DEU) MINI 042:34:46 05:21:59 00:00:00
14 326 SIREYJOL (FRA), BEGUIN (BEL) BUGGY 042:55:08 05:42:21 00:00:00
15 333 LACHAUME (FRA), BRUCY (FRA) OPTIMUS 043:01:15 05:48:28 00:00:00

Krzysztof Holowczyc has every reason to relax as he is two stages from a career best finish.

Erik Van Loon is all smiles after learning he moved into 4th place overall.

Vladimir Vasilyev closed in on the Toyota of Christian Levielle and a top 5 spot.


Nasser Al-Attiyah put in another dominant sprint between Calama and Salta to take his fourth stage win at the 2015 Dakar. Teammate Orlando Terranova was hot on his heels the entire stage finishing 1 minute 35 seconds back from the leader with the Toyota Hilux of Yazeed Al Rajhi 3 minutes and 39 seconds behind.

The stage victory helped Al-Attiyah stretch his lead to 28 minutes. The overall standings remain largely unchanged with the MINIs taking up five of the top ten spots.

Unfortunately the news is not all good for the MINIs as Nani Roma was forced to withdraw after an awful crash that caused his car to tumble end over end several times around 193 km into the day’s stage. The Spaniard and his co-driver are fine, but it looks like the end of 2015 Dakar for them, and just after an impressive Stage 9 victory. Theirs is the first MINI ALL4 Racing to retire this year.

Overall Standings After Stage 10:

Pos. Name Make Time Variation Penalty
1 301 AL-ATTIYAH (QAT), BAUMEL (FRA) MINI 035:19:37 00:00:00
2 303 DE VILLIERS (ZAF), VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU) TOYOTA 035:47:59 00:28:22 00:00:00
3 325 ALRAJHI (SAU), GOTTSCHALK (DEU) TOYOTA 036:02:45 00:43:08 00:00:00
4 307 HOLOWCZYC (POL), PANSERI (FRA) MINI 036:43:19 01:23:42 00:00:00
5 314 VAN LOON (NLD), ROSEGAAR (NLD) MINI 038:10:50 02:51:13 00:00:00
6 309 LAVIEILLE (FRA), MAIMON (FRA) TOYOTA 038:21:18 03:01:41 00:00:00
7 310 VASILYEV (RUS), ZHILTSOV (RUS) MINI 038:31:47 03:12:10 00:00:00
8 315 TEN BRINKE (NLD), COLSOUL (BEL) TOYOTA 038:59:05 03:39:28 00:00:00
9 306 SOUSA (PRT), FIUZA (PRT) MITSUBISHI 039:01:30 03:41:53 00:00:00
10 329 RAKHIMBAYEV (KAZ), NIKOLAEV (RUS) MINI 039:18:54 03:59:17 00:00:00

Nani Roma was pressing hard before the crash, glad thier both OK.

Sometimes you just have to stop and smell the llamas.

Orlando Terranova has taken over supporting the MINIs in front of him in the overall standings after Roma’s crash.

Roma Tearing Desert

Nani Roma may have been knocked out of contention in the first 13 km of the 2015 Dakar, but that didn’t stop him from offering support to his fellow MINIs or winning Stage 9. Over the course of the previous stages he has helped tow stuck comrades and even gave up one of his spare tires after one of the other MINIs sprung a fourth flat. Behind him at arrival were X-raid teammates Nasser Al-Attiyah, Guerlain Chicherit and Vladimir Vasilyev.

The top three in the overall remained the same at the end of the stage as Al-Attiyah’s lead grew to 24 minutes over the Toyota Hilux of Giniel De Villiers. However, there was a huge shake up in the rest of the top 10 as Toyota driver Bernhard Ten Brinke endured major losses totaling to over 3 hours and 30 minutes and dropping to 9th place overall. Ten Brinke’s misfortune was a boon for the X-raid MINI All4 drivers with Krzysztof Holowczyc, Erik Van Loon, and Vladimir Vasilyev all moving up a spot in the top 10.

Overall Standings After Stage 9

Pos. Name Make Time Variation Penalty
1 301 AL-ATTIYAH (QAT), BAUMEL (FRA) MINI 031:29:38 00:00:00
2 303 DE VILLIERS (ZAF), VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU) TOYOTA 031:53:36 00:23:58 00:00:00
3 325 ALRAJHI (SAU), GOTTSCHALK (DEU) TOYOTA 032:09:07 00:39:29 00:00:00
4 307 HOLOWCZYC (POL), PANSERI (FRA) MINI 032:47:19 01:17:41 00:00:00
5 314 VAN LOON (NLD), ROSEGAAR (NLD) MINI 034:11:24 02:41:46 00:00:00
6 309 LAVIEILLE (FRA), MAIMON (FRA) TOYOTA 034:21:17 02:51:39 00:00:00
7 310 VASILYEV (RUS), ZHILTSOV (RUS) MINI 034:32:19 03:02:41 00:00:00
8 306 SOUSA (PRT), FIUZA (PRT) MITSUBISHI 035:03:13 03:33:35 00:00:00
9 315 TEN BRINKE (NLD), COLSOUL (BEL) TOYOTA 035:03:45 03:34:07 00:00:00
10 329 RAKHIMBAYEV (KAZ), NIKOLAEV (RUS) MINI 035:11:02 03:41:24 00:00:00
11 320 CHABOT (FRA), PILLOT (FRA) SMG 035:29:38 04:00:00 00:00:00
12 332 ZHOU (CHN), SCHULZ (DEU) MINI 036:20:44 04:51:06 00:00:00
13 319 GARAFULIC (CHL), PALMEIRO (PRT) MINI 036:24:17 04:54:39 00:00:00
14 302 PETERHANSEL (FRA), COTTRET (FRA) PEUGEOT 036:36:20 05:06:42 00:00:00
15 326 SIREYJOL (FRA), BEGUIN (BEL) BUGGY 036:52:51 05:23:13 00:00:00


Krzysztof Holowczyc wasted no time capitalizing on Ten Brinke’s misadventures.

Erik Van Loon likewise pushed his MINI hard to distance himself from the Toyota of Christian Levielle

Vladimir Vasilyev is well on his way to a career best finish since switching to a MINI All4 Racing for 2015