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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años







Second for Yazeed Al-Rajhi at halfway point; Khalid Al-Qassimi holds third position

Broken turbo pipe sidelines Qatar’s Al-Naimi; suspension damage for Edith Weiss

2015 QMMF Qatar International Rally
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 1

6 February 2015

DOHA (Qatar): Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah remained firmly on course for an unprecedented 12th victory at the QMMF Qatar International Rally after six timed special stages in the Qatar deserts on Friday.

The Qatari and co-driver Matthieu Baumel have teamed up for a full programme of FIA Middle East Rally Championship events in a Ford Focus RRC and lead the 13-stage event by 1min 17.50sec heading into the final half dozen timed tests on Saturday.

“It’s a nice position to be in at this point with a good lead and six stages to go,” said Al-Attiyah. “But, I suppose I was a little fortunate this morning. I was pushing quite hard and managed to avoid the punctures that affected the others and cost them time. I do have a good lead, but one puncture tomorrow and that can all be lost. I need to manage the race carefully now.”

Punctures wrecked the challenge from both of his major rivals. Abu Dhabi Racing’s Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi was forced to stop and change a wheel on the second of the day’s specials and the delay cost him 3min 50sec. He reached the end of the leg in third overall.

Saudi Arabian driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi and his Ulster co-driver Michael Orr complained of handling issues on the first stage, but the Riyadh driver settled into an impressive pace from then on to hold third place and he moved up to second on the last test of the day.

Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari completed eight kilometres of the second stage of the day on a flat tyre and lost half a minute. The Qatari and his Irish navigator Killian Duffy held second at the midday regroup and looked set to reach the overnight halt in a similar position until they reportedly punctured again on the last stage and dropped nearly four minutes to the leader and moved into fourth place.

Kuwait’s Salah bin Eidan and new Slovenian co-driver Vili Oslaj held sixth and led the Group N category from the sole-surviving Iranian crew of Ali Mesgarha and Vahidreza Vahdatinikzad until the last stage. But they too hit serious suspension trouble and the Iranians held the showroom category lead at the overnight halt. Only five of the 12 starters reached the overnight halt, although the rest should return in Rally2 on Saturday.

Day 1 – as it happened

Al-Attiyah led 11 rivals into the opening 21.63km of the tricky Umm Wishah stage in his newly-liveried 2014 Ford Fiesta RRC. He already knew that Al-Rajhi’s strategy was to attack from the start and the Qatari laid down the gauntlet with a time of 10min 31.20sec and gained 21 seconds on the struggling Saudi, as Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari pipped Al-Qassimi to second.

Al-Rajhi’s co-driver Michael Orr had noticed low pressure in a rear tyre before the start of the special and the wheel was changed, but Al-Rajhi clouted a rock early in the special and complained that the car was pulling to the right. All 12 cars reached the stage finish.

Nasser Al-Attiyah was now in a focused mood and a stunning time through the first Al-Shabana special saw his lead over Al-Kuwari climb to 40.2sec when his rival sustained a rear, right flat tyre and was forced to drive for 8km on the deflating rubber.

The stage was also a critical one for Al-Qassimi: he eventually finished 3min 43sec behind the leader and wrecked his chance of a maiden Qatar win. “After about two or three kilometres, in a tight right-hand corner, a rock had been pulled out into the track and we clipped it. I carried on a little, but we knew there was a problem and decided to change the front wheel. But there was also some damage under the car and we had to jack it up from the back. This cost us even more time.”

A heavy landing after a jump sidelined Edith Weiss’s Mitsubishi with suspension damage and Rashid Al-Naimi was also in trouble. After sustaining a puncture, his Mitsubishi took off over a huge jump and the resultant impact broke a turbo pipe and damaged the front of the car. He managed to finish the stage before retiring and returning to the service park. “Hopefully SuperRally (Rally2) for us,” said the dejected Qatari.

Al-Attiyah increased his lead over Al-Kuwari to 50.20sec through Al-Kharsaah 1 and reached service without issues. A slow puncture had slightly delayed Khalifa Al-Attiyah, Abdullah Al-Kuwari complained of power steering problems and the Iranian driver Mohammed Ghalehbani was sidelined in the special with technical trouble.

Nine cars began the second loop of three stages, with Al-Attiyah leading from Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari, Al-Rajhi, Khalid Al-Suwaidi, Khalifa Al-Attiyah, Al-Qassimi, Group N leader Salah bin Eidan, Ali Mesgarha and Abdullah Al-Kuwari, who incurred a hefty time penalty of 4min 44sec and slipped to ninth.

Al-Attiyah had vowed to ease his pace a little to preserve his Ford Fiesta, but was a mere 7/10ths of a second slower on his repeat run through Umm Wishah. Al-Qassimi only dropped a second to the defending regional champion, but suspension arm issues sidelined Al-Suwaidi, as Al-Kuwari and Al-Rajhi maintained second and third. Al-Rajhi collected a puncture within sight of the finish and changed it on the road section.

Abdulah Al-Kuwari had complained of a sore hand after the earlier power steering issue and he began the stage before returning to the start to retire soon afterwards.

There was no stopping a defiant Al-Attiyah in SS6 either and the Qatari shaved three seconds off his morning’s time to extend his advantage to 1min 05.40sec. He was again quicker on his second attempt at Al-Kharsaah and reached the overnight halt with a lead of 1min 17.5sec.

Khalifa Al-Attiyah lost fourth place with reported axle issues and Kuwait’s Bin Eidan relinquished his grip on the Group N lead after stopping with terminal suspension damage.

Tomorrow (Saturday), crews tackle the remaining six special stages of the MERC opener, starting with 20.90km near Mekanes at 08.38hrs. Runs through the 15.33km of Salwa at 09.11hrs and a QMMF-backed 27.56km special at 09.49hrs precede a regroup and service stop at the Qatar Aqua Park.

The three specials are repeated at 11.52hrs, 12.25hrs and 13.03hrs. After a final service at the Aqua Park, cars then return to the QMMF on the Salwa Road in Doha for the ceremonial finish and prize giving from 14.30hrs onwards.


2015 QMMF Qatar International Rally – positions after SS7 (SS1 cancelled):

1. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) Ford Fiesta RRC 1hr 03min 08.9sec

2. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU)/Michael Orr (GBR) Ford Fiesta RRC 1hr 04min 26.4sec

3. Khalid Al-Qassimi (ARE)/Chris Patterson (GBR) Citroën DS3 RRC 1hr 07min 21.3sec

4. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari (QAT)/Killian Duffy (IRL) Ford Fiesta RRC 1hr 08min 09.3sec

5. Ali Mesgarha (IRN)/Vahidreza Vahdatinikzad (IRN) Subaru Impreza 1hr 28min 45.7sec

For live results on Saturday:














Media MERC 2015 / Media Nasser Al-Attiyah Team

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Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy
Rally Report Magazine Argentina

Photos: Marcin Kin / Red Bull

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años







30 September 2015

Chris Atkinson has won the latest round of the Chinese Rally Championship in the VW Golf SCRC. Atkinson won comfortably by a minute and 40 seconds from Mark Higgins in the Subaru and Manfred Stohl in a Citroen DS3.

Chen Dean in the second Golf was fifth with Li ninth in the third car.

That makes it three wins from four events for Atkinson as the Championship heads to the next round Longyou at the end of October. Longyou was the debut event for the VW Golf SCRC last year when Atkinson to its maiden win.












Cedric Journel / Dongwei Zhang
Media & Comunication
Faw-Volkswagen Rally Team

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina

Ben Sayer
Media Prodrive Motorsport

Foto: Media Prodrive Motorsport

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años





La leyenda del rally Sébastien Loeb se une al “Dream Team” de Peugeot-Total.

Sebastien Loeb poses for a portrait in Peugeot Sport workshop, France, on September 21, 2015
Sébastien Loeb, el mejor piloto de rally de todos los tiempos, se enfrentará al mayor reto de su carrera al unirse por primera vez al equipo de Peugeot en el legendario Dakar del próximo mes de enero.


29 Septiembre 2015

El nueve veces campeón del WRC y plusmarquista del Pikes Peak se ha unido al equipo de Peugeot 2008DKR junto a Carlos Sainz para el Rally du Maroc del próximo mes (del 3 al 9 de octubre) antes de hacer frente al mayor reto de este deporte, el Dakar, durante 13 días en Argentina y Bolivia en 2016. Junto a él en Sudamérica también estarán Stéphane Peterhansel y Cyril Despres completando así el “dream team” de pilotos de Peugeot-Total.

El francés de 41 años, Sébastien Loeb, uno de los pilotos con más éxito de la historia de los deportes de motor con un porcentaje de victorias sin precedentes del 46,2% en el WRC dijo: “Descubrí los deportes de motor cuando tenía 18 años y empecé a competir en mis primeros rallys. Desde entonces me han interesado todo tipo de deportes de motor y el Dakar es uno de ellos. Creo que es un gran reto competir y conducir en el desierto”.

“El Dakar es completamente diferente a las carreras que hago en este momento. va a ser muy larga, más de dos semanas, y necesitas tener aguante para cuidar del conductor y del coche. Es una carrera con un enfoque distinto pero lo descubriré en enero”.

Hasta entonces, Loeb se unirá a Sainz en Marruecos para su debut en el competitivo Cross Country, aunque ya pilotó el rival de Peugeot a principios de año. Para Loeb ésta será una reunión muy especial pues ya fue compañero de equipo de Sainz durante su primera temporada completa en el Mundial de Rallys del 2003, hasta que el español se tuvo que retirar del WRC de 2004. En Marruecos Sainz pilotará el último Peugeot 2008DKR16 mientras que Loeb pilotará un coche con especificaciones de 2015.

“Cuando probé el PEUGEOT 2008DKR en junio me sorprendió muchísimo y por supuesto ha cambiado mucho desde entonces”, dijo Loeb -que en la actualidad está compitiendo en el Campeonato Mundial de Turismos de la FIA con Citroen.

“Lo que más me impactó fue lo diferente que es conducir el coche del Dakar, era una experiencia completamente nueva para mí. En el WRC acostumbro a rodear obstáculos pero con este coche puedes simplemente pasar por encima, ¡y cuesta tener la suficiente confianza en uno mismo para creer que puedes hacerlo!”

“ También estoy acostumbrado a tener notas de copiloto muy detalladas pero en el Cross Country tienes que abrirte paso e improvisar tu ruta. Esta, además, es la primera vez que he pilotado diferentes tipos de coche diesel en una competición por lo que tengo que aprender mucho pero tengo muchas ganas de hacerlo”.

Además de haber ganado más rallys, etapas especiales y campeonatos que cualquier otro piloto, Sébastien Loeb también se ha convertido en el “Rey del Peak” al batir el record del Pikes Peak Hillclimb con Peugeot y Red Bull hace dos años en América. Un triunfo épico que ya forma parte de la historia legendaria de los deportes de motor.

Ahora forma parte del mejor equipo que se haya enfrentado jamás al Dakar. Tal y como dijo el 11 veces campeón del Dakar Stéphane Peterhansel: “Sébastien Loeb es un referente del motor. Hay muy poco que yo o cualquier otro le pueda enseñar”.

El cinco veces campeón de motos Cyril Despres añadió: “Desde que cambié las dos ruedas por cuatro, la experiencia no ha hecho más que mejorar. Y saber que ahora Sébastien se une al equipo la remata aún más”.

El dos veces campeón del WRC y campeón del Dakar en 2010 Carlos Sainz, que será una vez más el compañero de Loeb en Marruecos dijo: “No tengo nada más que decir sobre Sébastien que no haya dicho ya. Por supuesto que el rally raid va a ser una nueva aventura para él, pero va a ser capaz de adaptarse sin problemas. Como yo mismo he podido comprobar aprende muy rápido”.

“El Dakar es algo que me llama, es una gran aventura”, añadió Loeb, quien ya dominó el Pikes Peak y el WTCC. “El rally en Marruecos me mostrará lo que es realmente el Cross Country, así que para mí esta es una oportunidad fantástica para aprender, en especial al lado de unos compañeros tan buenos”.

Tal y como pasó con sus nueve títulos mundiales y sus 78 victorias en el WRC hasta la fecha, Loeb tendrá como copiloto al campeón mundial de deportes de motor monegasco Daniel Elena. Marruecos marcará la vuelta de la pareja con más éxito jamás vista en la historia del motor que emprende una nueva aventura juntos tras 17 gloriosos años en los rallys.

Al igual que Loeb, el copiloto de 42 años Elena nunca ha competido antes en Cross Country, pero se ha preparado a fondo para las exigencias de la navegación más dura del mundo, en la que los equipos tienen que reaccionar rápidamente para conquistar el terreno offroad más sobrecogedor. Cuentan además con la ayuda de un sofisticado sistema de GPS que les guiará de punto a punto.

El director deportivo de Peugeot Bruno Famin comentó: “ Sébastien fue impresionante desde que se sentó en el coche, como ya sabíamos tras haber trabajado con él anteriormente. Adoptó ese enfoque calculado que tanto le caracteriza para entender el coche paso a paso, pero después su habilidad natural se encargó del resto. Tras mejorar diferentes aspectos del coche desde la última vez que estuvimos en el Dakar, el fichaje de Sébastien Loeb es la pieza que le faltaba al puzzle”.


The 2008 DKR 16 in Peugeot Sport workshop, France, on September 21, 2015








Cécile Estenave
Peugeot Sport France

Admin and Translation:

Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy

Rally Report Magazine Argentina
Comunity Manager 

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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años





Rally Legend Sébastien Loeb joins “D-ream TEAM Peugeot-Total”.

Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena pose for a portrait during the Peugeot test in Erfoud, Morocco on September 16, 2015

Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena pose for a portrait during the Peugeot test in Erfoud, Morocco on September 16, 2015

29 September 2015

Rally Legend Sébastien Loeb joins “D-ream TEAM Peugeot-Total” © Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool

Velizy-Villacoublay, France
Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Sébastien Loeb, the greatest rally driver ever, will take on one of the biggest challenges of his illustrious career when he lines up as part of Peugeot’s dream team at the legendary Dakar in January for the first time.

The nine-time World Rally Championship winner and Pikes Peak record-holder has joined Peugeot’s 2008DKR line-up alongside Carlos Sainz for next month’s Rallye du Maroc (October 3-9) before facing the sport’s toughest challenge, the Dakar, over 13 days in Argentina and Bolivia in 2016. Joining him in South America will also be Stéphane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres, completing Team Peugeot Total’s dream team driver line-up.

The 41-year old Loeb, one of the most successful drivers in the history of motorsports, with an unprecedented 46.2% wins-to-starts ratio in WRC, said: “I only discovered motorsports when I was 18 and I started competing in my first rallies. Since then I have been interested in all types of different motorsports and Dakar is one of them. I think it’s a great challenge to go and compete there and drive in the desert.

“The Dakar is completely different from the racing I’m doing at the moment. It will be very long, over two weeks, and you need to have the endurance to look after the driver and the car. It’s another approach to racing but I’ll discover that in January.”

Before then, Loeb will line up with Sainz in Morocco next week for his competitive Cross Country debut – although he already tested Peugeot’s Dakar challenger in the country earlier this year. For Loeb, this will be a very special reunion: he was previously team-mates with Sainz for his very first full season in the World Rally Championship in 2003, until the Spaniard decided to end his WRC career at the end of 2004. In Morocco, Sainz will drive the latest PEUGEOT 2008DKR16 whereas Loeb will drive a 2015-specification car.

“When I tried the PEUGEOT 2008DKR out in June, it was immediately very impressive for me – and of course it has changed a lot since then,” said Loeb, who is currently competing in the FIA WTCC with Citroen.

“What struck me most of all is how the Dakar car was a completely new experience: in the WRC I have been used to going round obstacles but with this car you can just drive straight over them, and it takes some time to have the confidence to believe it!

“I’ve also been used to having very detailed pace notes: in Cross Country, you have to find the road for yourself and improvise your route. And this is actually the first time I have driven any type of diesel car in competition too. So there is a lot for me to learn, but I am eager to find out more.”

As well as winning more rallies, special stages and championships than any other driver, Sébastien Loeb also became ‘King of the Peak’ when he pulverised the Pikes Peak hill climb record with Peugeot and Red Bull two years ago in America: an epic feat that is already remembered as a legendary part of motorsport history.

Now he forms part of the greatest team ever to tackle the Dakar. As 11-time Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel said: “Sébastien Loeb is a reference in motorsport. There’s very little that I, or anybody else, can teach him.”

Five-time bike winner Cyril Despres added: “Since I made the switch from two wheels to four, the experience has got better and better. And to see Sébastien arrive in the team now, everything is complete.”

Two-time WRC champion and Dakar 2010 winner Carlos Sainz, who will be Loeb’s team-mate once more in Morocco, concluded: “There is nothing more I can say about Sébastien that his career hasn’t said already. Of course rally raid will be a new adventure for him, but he has every capacity to adapt to it with no problem. As I have seen for myself in the past, he is a quick learner in everything he does.

“Dakar is something that appeals to me; it is a huge adventure,” added Loeb, who has already mastered rallying, Pikes Peak and the World Touring Car Championship. “The rally in Morocco will give me a very interesting idea of what Cross Country is all about, so this is a fantastic opportunity for me to learn; particularly alongside such successful team-mates.”

Just as has been the case throughout his nine world titles and 78 WRC victories to date, Loeb will be co-driven by Monaco’s motorsport world champion: Daniel Elena. Morocco will mark the comeback of the most successful pairing ever seen in the history of motorsport, as they start a new adventure together following 17 magnificent years in rallying.

Like Loeb, the 42-year-old Elena has never competed in Cross Country before, but he has undergone intensive training to prepare him for the demands of some of the most challenging navigation in the world, where crews have to think instantly on their feet to conquer the daunting off-road landscape. They are aided by sophisticated GPS equipment, guiding their route from waypoint to waypoint.

Peugeot Sport director Bruno Famin commented: “Sébastien was impressive from the moment he first sat in the car, as we knew would be the case after having had the privilege of working with him before. He took his usual measured approached to understand the car step by step: from there his natural ability took over. Having improved the car in several different areas since we were last at the Dakar, the signing of Sébastien Loeb is the final piece in the puzzle.”











Cécile Estenave
Peugeot Sport France

Admin and Translation:

Media & Comunication TGS Worldwide
Media Toni Gardemeister Driving Academy

Rally Report Magazine Argentina
Comunity Manager

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