Rallye du Maroc / Peterhansels snatch FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies title

Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team

Fourth in Morocco earns couple place in history as De Villiers and Short win race.

The husband-and-wife team of Stéphane and Andrea Peterhansel did enough to snatch the 2019 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies title as South African Giniel de Villiers and American Andrew Short won the 2019 Rallye du Maroc.

Here is all you need to know:

– The Moroccan rally-raid race was over five desert stages with the leading contenders undertaking crucial preparation for the 2020 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia.

– 2009 Dakar Rally champion De Villiers ensured that he goes into the world’s toughest off-road race in January on a big high with a comprehensive victory margin of 17 minutes and 42 seconds over Carlos Sainz.

– The Spaniard, who won the Dakar in 2010 and 2018, tried his best to reel him in but fell short with Poland’s Kuba Przygoński third and Peterhansel fourth, which was enough to push him and wife Andrea past Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah to win the 2019 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies title by just three points.

– Peterhansel, 54, said: “What a race! We really wanted to win the World Cup title, the first time a couple had ever done it. I’m really happy for the whole team, who have been working hard all season. Now I feel that we have a car that can win the Dakar!”

– Toyota’s De Villiers, 47, said: “A big thank you to the team for their hard work this week and also to Alex Haro for the navigation! This was one tough rally!”

– Sainz, 57, said: “We’ll be able to extract lots of useful information to help us prepare for the Dakar. Two stage victories and second place overall is a good result.”

– In the bikes, Short led home Pablo Quintanilla for a Husqvarna 1-2 with Spaniard Joan Barreda third and Red Bull KTM Factory Teams’s Toby Price fourth.

– Australian Price, 32, revealed: “Unfortunately I had one small crash on the final stage and landed on my head, so I’m a little bit stiff in the neck and just missed the podium by seven seconds. Now it’s all about looking forward to January and getting stronger for the Dakar.”

– Argentine Luciano Benavides finished sixth with 2018 Dakar champion Matthias Walkner of Austria one place behind in seventh and Spaniard Laia Sanz ending the African race back in 18th place to secure the 2019 FIM Women’s Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.

– Benavides, who sealed 2019 FIM Junior Cross-Country Rallies World Championship glory, said: “It was a good rally, I finished sixth overall and first Junior. It was a good rally to build confidence for the Dakar and keep up my training with the new roadbook system.”

– Sanz, 33, said: “This was a tough rally, so I’m happy to finish safe. It was really good training for Dakar (January 5-17, 2020), that was always my main focus.”

2019 Rallye du Maroc selected final results:

1. Giniel De Villiers (RSA) Toyota 17:48:44
2. Carlos Sainz (SPA) MINI Buggy +17:42
3. Kuba Przygoński (POL) MINI Rally +58:27
4. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) MINI Buggy +01:29:34

1. Andrew Short (USA) Husqvarna 18:03:54
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI) Husqvarna +01:21
3. Joan Barreda (SPA) Honda +02:44
4. Toby Price (AUS) KTM +02:51
6. Luciano Benavides (ARG) KTM +07:17
7. Matthias Walkner (AUT) KTM +07:38
18. Laia Sanz (SPA) KTM +01:25:31

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