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Rally Report Magazine Argentina 15 años




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14 March 2015


FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 2

Saturday, March 14th, 2015



· Abu Dhabi’s Al-Qassimi a distant second; tyre woes cost third-placed Al-Rajhi

· Group N success for Kuwait’s Bin Eidan; Abu Dhabi Racing’s Bel Helai tops 2WD

KUWAIT CITY (Kuwait): Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah’s rich vein of form continues and the Qatari coasted to an emphatic record-breaking fifth victory in the Kuwait International Rally on Saturday.

Partnered to a fourth successive win this year by French co-driver Matthieu Baumel, the Ford Fiesta RRC driver won nine of the 13 gravel special stages and reached the podium at Marina Crescent in Kuwait with a winning margin of 1min 02.1sec.

The success was his 56th in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) and he now stands just four wins short of the magical 60 set by Dubai’s Mohammed Ben Sulayem between 1984 and 2002. Baumel claimed his fifth MERC win and now draws level with Steve Lancaster and Nabil Njeim in equal sixth in the list of most co-driver wins in the MERC.

“I am so happy to keep this run of wins going and extend my lead in the championship,” said Al-Attiyah. “I had a good strategy here and it worked. I managed my pace and that was important. I did not take risks. It’s not all about winning all the stages. Now we have a good lead in the championship.”

Abu Dhabi Racing’s Al-Qassimi Citroën DS3 RRC won two stages and shadowed Al-Attiyah to the finish for the second time this season. He and Chris Patterson lost a little time in the dust on Friday but picked up another haul of valuable championship points to keep the heat on the Qatari in the eight-round series.

Two punctures and a one-minute time penalty cost a subdued Yazeed Al-Rajhi any chance of victory, but he and Ulster co-driver Michael Orr reached the finish in third place and set two fastest stage times.

The 2012 event winner Khalid Al-Suwaidi complained that the tracks were difficult to follow at times and admitted to losing his way on occasions. He finished in a solid fifth behind Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari and Marshall Clarke. Al-Kuwari’s uncle Abdullah Al-Kuwari rounded off the top six with his former Irish co-driver Killian Duffy.

Despite losing several minutes on the opening day, Salah bin Eidan proved that all was not lost and the Kuwaiti driver stormed back through the field to claim seventh and victory in the Group N category.

Despite brake issues, Germany’s Edith Weiss finished her second successive event in a fine eighth overall and second in Group N once Kuwait’s Saleh Aly retired on the 11th stage.

Abu Dhabi Racing junior Mansoor Bel Helai restarted under Rally 2 and benefited from the demise of overnight leader Mohammed Al-Sahlawi to claim ninth overall and first in the two-wheel drive section with his Citroën DS3. Qatar’s Rashid Al-Naimi rounded off the top 10.

The second round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship was organised by the Basil Salem Al-Sabah Motor Racing Club (BMRC) in conjunction with the Kuwait International Automobile Club (KIAC) and ran under the patronage of Sheikh Athbi Nayef Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

Saturday – as it happened

Nineteen cars were given start times for the second day although Dawood Al-Gharabally failed to take advantage of Rally 2 and 18 cars began the day. Al-Attiyah headed into the final two loops of three stages with a lead of 1min 14.9sec and that advantage grew to 1min 22.9sec after the first run though the 23.81km of Bneider.

Group N Trophy leader Meshari Al-Thafiri and 2WD front-runner Mohammed Al-Sahlawi were sidelined. Al-Thafiri damaged his Mitsubishi’s radiator after a jump and ongoing drive shaft issues after a gearbox change thwarted Al-Sahlawi.

Al-Attiyah’s closest rivals held station heading to the first pass through the Arifjan stage and Al-Qassimi snatched his first fastest time of the event and reduced Al-Attiyah lead by 5.21 seconds. Al-Rajhi retained a distant third, although his cause was not helped by a 60-second penalty imposed by rally officials following a route infringement on Friday and two punctures on the first two stages. This forced the Saudi to start the third special on a deflating and non-shredded tyre that he had removed on the previous test.

Al-Attiyah was fastest again through Julai’a and reached service with an advantage of 1min 19.0sec. “I have not been pushing today, just taking it easy. I am a bit surprised, because I set the fastest time without pushing. The record of five wins here is not my aim. The most important thing is the continuity and the consistency.”

A repeat run through the three stages was all that stood in the way of Al-Attiyah and a record fifth win in Kuwait. Fifteen cars remained in the rally, although Elie Chachati was struggling with gear lever issues in 12th place.

Al-Attiyah was 20 seconds slower through the re-run of Bneider than he had been in the morning. Even though Al-Rajhi claimed the quickest time, Nasser’s lead grew to 1min 39.5sec. Saleh Aly of Kuwait suffered mechanical problems and failed to finish the stage.

Al-Attiyah was now running noticeably slower and Al-Qassimi shaved 27.7 seconds off the Qatari’s advantage in Arifjan 2. It meant that the defending champion headed for the final stage at Julai’a with a lead of 1min 11.8sec.

Caution was the order of the day there as well for the Qatari and he reached the stage finish with the third quickest time to confirm a fifth win in Kuwait. Al-Rajhi confirmed third overall with his second fastest stage time, but gear selection woes sidelined Abu Dhabi Racing’s Saeed Bin Towq on the final stage.

The 2015 FIA Middle East Rally Championship resumes with the brand new Shiraz International Rally in Iran on May 6-8.


2015 Kuwait International Rally – position after SS13:

1. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) Ford Fiesta RRC 2hr 33min 36.1sec

2. Khalid Al-Qassimi (ARE)/Chris Patterson (GBR) Citroën DS3 RRC 2hr 34min 38.1sec

3. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU)/Michael Orr (GBR) Ford Fiesta RRC 2hr 36min 05.8sec

4. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari (QAT)/Marshall Clarke (GBR) Ford Fiesta RRC 2hr 36min 59.2sec

5. Khalid Al-Suwaidi (QAT)/John Higgins (IRL) Ford Fiesta RRC 2hr 38min 52.4sec

6. Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT)/Killian Duffy (IRL) Ford Fiesta R5 2hr 42min 42.3sec

7. Salah bin Eidan (KWT)/Vili Oslaj (SVN) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX 2hr 53min 00.9sec

8. Edith Weiss (QAT)/Vicky Psarakis (GRC) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX 3hr 15min 06.4sec

9. Mansoor Bel Helai (ARE)/Khalid Al-Kendi (ARE) Citroën DS3 3hr 32min 57.0sec

10. Rashid Al-Naimi (QAT)/Arif Yousef Mohammed (ARE) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X 3hr 38min 41.3sec

11. Khalifa Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Adel Hussein (QAT) Ford Fiesta RRC 3hr 48min 23.4sec

12. Elie Chachati (KWT)/Othman Hamder (LBN) Subaru Impreza 3hr 59min 43.0sec

13. Mohammed Al-Mutawee (ARE)/Stephen McAuley (GBR) Citroën DS3 4hr 07min 22.9sec

2015 Middle East Rally Championship – drivers’ positions after round 2:

1. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT) 50 pts

2. Khalid Al-Qassimi (ARE) 36 pts

3. Khalid Al-Suwaidi (QAT) 20 pts

4. Salah bin Eidan (KWT) 18 pts

5. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU) 15 pts

5. Khalifa Al-Attiyah (QAT) 15 pts

7. Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QAT) 14 pts

8. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari (QAT) 12 pts

9. Ali Mesgarha (IRN) 8 pts

9. Edith Weiss (GER) 8 pts

11. Mansoor Bel Helai (ARE) 2 pts

12. Rashid Al-Naimi (QAT) 1 pt











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




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español




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




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español


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




This post is also available in: English (Inglés) Deutsch (Alemán) Español


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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