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DAKAR RALLY 2015: AL-ATTIYAH CONTINUES TO LEAD THE DAKAR RALLY WITH MINI

DAKAR A FULL 2015

Al-Attiyah continues to lead the Dakar Rally with MINI.

v333

Chilecito, Argentina
Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Using all the know-how and experience he has accumulated over 10 participations at the Dakar Rally so far, Qatar Rally Team’s Nasser Al-Attiyah continues to lead this year’s event at the end of the third day, with a margin of just over five minutes from Giniel de Villiers after finishing fifth on the stage.

Once again, the Qatari enjoyed a perfectly reliable run over today’s stage, which consisted of 232 competitive kilometres over generally gravelly and open terrain, with fewer of the tight and twisty roads seen yesterday. While the stage was not one of the longest on the event, high average speeds and some steep drops meant that it was easy to make a mistake, requiring perfect precision and collaboration between driver and co-driver when it came to reading the road.

The overnight bivouac at Chilecito was the final rest halt in Argentina before the crews head into Chile tomorrow to continue their epic 9000-kilometre adventure.

Nasser commented: “It’s been another very good day with no problems: we did the hard job yesterday by pushing to build a lead of nearly eight minutes, which was important for today. Today we were opening the road and of course that made the navigation difficult but we were careful and made no mistakes. So everything is looking good for us although of course it’s impossible to take too much for granted on the Dakar. However, it’s very important to put yourself in a position where you don’t have to push too hard all the time, as this is really when problems can happen.”

The scenery today was mainly mountainous, with red earth tracks that plunged down into canyons and up through mountain passes, traversing one of the most scenic regions of Argentina. However the road was littered with sharp rocks, which was a particular hazard for the crew running first.

Co-driver Matthieu Baumel had to ensure there were no mistakes, without any other competitors to follow, because the car route was different to that of the bikes today. “I have found myself in that situation before when competing with Nasser but this was the first time at the Dakar,” said Matthieu. “It was important to get it right, even if we had to go a little more slowly. I did not feel any pressure, I just concentrated on doing a good job and of course, I had the support of Nasser who is a fantastic guy to drive with.”

Tomorrow’s action presents not just a change of scene but a change of country as the crews head into Chile. While the Qatar Rally Team serviced Nasser’s car in the evening, he and co-driver Matthieu Baumel had their passports stamped by the Chilean border officials, who have also set up camp in the bivouac, to speed up the border crossing tomorrow. In total, there will be 315 kilometres of special stage, with the first car leaving the bivouac at 06:14.

“Tomorrow will be a bit easier as we can follow rather than going first,” concluded Nasser. “We’ve had three very good days and the focus is just to keep going like this. It’s important to keep concentrated, but at the same time I am really enjoying myself.”

Stay up-to-date with the Qatar Rally Team at redbull.com/dakar, as they look to pick up some serious speed in motorsport’s ultimate test of endurance racing.

Results after SS3:

1 Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (F) Mini 9hr 21min 26sec
2 Giniel de Villiers (RSA)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (D) Toyota 9hr 26min 44sec
3 Orlando Terranova (ARG)/Ronnie Graue (ARG) Mini 9hr 39min 41sec
4 Carlos Sainz (E)/Lucas Cruz (E) Peugeot 9hr 40min 58sec
5 Yazeed Al-Rahji (SAU)/Timo Gottschalk (D) Toyota 9hr 41min 34sec
6 Krzysztof Holowczyc (PL)/Xavier Panseri (F) Mini 9hr 46min 50sec
7 Erik van Loon (NL)/Wouter Roesegar (NL) Mini 9hr 49min 09sec
8 Bernhard Ten Brinke (NL)/Tom Colsoul (B) Toyota 9hr 57min 48sec
9 Carlos Sousa (P)Paulo Fiuza (P) Toyota 10h 03min 18sec
10. Christian Lavieille (F)/Pascal Maimon (F) Toyota 10hr 05min 04sec

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Qatar Red Bull Rally Team

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