Al-Attiyah confident heading into second half of Dakar Rally.


Iquique, Chile
Monday, January 12, 2015

Normally, the Dakar rest day – which marks the halfway point of the rally – means frantic work for the mechanics, as they rebuild the cars in the bivouac for the long trek to Buenos Aires that is still to come.

However, the Qatar Rally Team mechanics were slightly less busy than the rest. And that’s because Nasser Al-Attiyah takes a unique approach to the race, born out of the experience that has already delivered him one Dakar win and two further podiums.

The Qatari explained: “While most people rebuild the car during the rest day, we actually rebuilt it two nights ago before the marathon stage, because we wanted to make sure that we had perfect reliability for those two stages when the mechanics cannot touch the car. And this actually means that now there are not so many jobs for the mechanics to finish off, so they can have a rest and an early night as well. We should be all feeling good to start the second half of the rally.”

Nasser understands only too well the physical toll that the 14 days and 9000 kilometres of the Dakar takes out of people, particularly with 36 hours spent at altitudes in the region of 4,500 metres above sea level. Despite this massive challenge for man and machine, Nasser and his co-driver Matthieu Baumel serenely hold an eight and a half minute lead of the legendary event, ahead of Toyota driver and fellow former Dakar winner Giniel de Villiers. So far, Nasser and Matthieu have won three out of eight stages, having held the overall lead since the second day.

“At the Dakar, it is all about doing your homework and everybody helping each other,” pointed out Nasser. “With Matthieu we have been looking back over the road books of the stages we have already done to see if there is anything we can learn for the future. I feel really happy with this Dakar so far: it’s one of the best events we have done. Now our aim is just to carry on exactly like this, controlling the gap to Giniel, until we reach the finish.”

Before then, there are 3334 kilometres left to run, 1474 of which are on special stages. Tomorrow is the final day in Chile, with the crews undertaking a 450-kilometre stage to Calama, setting off at 08:45. It will be one of the last sections of the rally that feature major sand dunes, renowned for being something of an Al-Attiyah speciality.

With the car and driver back on top form after the rest day in Iquique, there is plenty to look forward to ahead.

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

Results after 8 stages (Rest Day):
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) Qatar Rally Team 26h 41m 15s
2. Giniel de Villiers (RSA)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (DEU) Toyota All Speed +00:08:27
3. Yazeed Al-Rahji (SAU)/Timo Gottschalk (DEU) Toyota +00:18:40
4. Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL)/Xavier Panseri (FRA) Mini +00:54:38
5. Bernhard Ten Brinke (NLD)/Tom Colsoul (BEL) Toyota +01:22:52
6. Erik van Loon (NLD)/Wouter Roesegar (NLD) Mini +01:25:51
7. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Pascal Maimon (FRA) Toyota +01:48:41
8. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/J-P Cottret (FRA) Team Peugeot-Total +01:51:46
9. Carlos Sousa (PRT)/Paulo Fiuza (PRT) Mitsubishi +02:07:13
10. Ronan Chabot (FRA)/Gilles Pillot (FRA) SMG +02:26:50









Qatar Red Bull Rally Team

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