UAE's Al-Mutaiwei maintains FIA World Cup Challenge with third position in Sealine Rally Qatar
21.04.2012: 2012 FIA WORLD CUP FOR CROSS-COUNTRY RALLIES Sealine Cross-Country Rally, Qatar - April 16-21, 2012
2012 FIA WORLD CUP FOR CROSS-COUNTRY RALLIES Sealine Cross-Country Rally, Qatar - April 16-21, 2012
• Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah claims victory for Toyota in Qatar
• Spain’s Marc Coma clinches motorcycle glory for KTM
• UAE’s Mohammed Al-Balooshi finishes 12th in bikes section
• UAE’s Obaid Al-Kitbi loses out on quads on final stage
Dubai’s Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei and German co-driver Andreas Schulz lost valuable time with navigational issues on the final stage and finished third in the Sealine Cross-Country Rally, round three of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, which finished in Qatar on Saturday.
Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Spanish co-driver Lucas Cruz Senra confirmed a crushing victory for the Belgian Overdrive Racing Team. Defending a massive lead of 46min 09sec heading into the final 208km special stage, the Toyota Hilux duo didn’t need to take any risks and still set the fastest time to confirm outright victory by the margin of 49min 23sec.
Argentina’s Lucio Alvarez benefited from Al-Mutaiwei’s delay to confirm second overall in another Toyota Hilux and the Emirati’s arch title rival Jean-Louis Schlesser finished fourth. The Toyota one-two was the first ever for the Japanese manufacturer on a round of the FIA World Cup and marked a fourth successive win on the Qatar event for Al-Attiyah.
“We had some navigational problems while I was trying to push and catch Lucio,” admitted Al-Mutaiwei. “It was not possible after that to finish second, but I am quite happy to be ahead of Schlesser and than enabled me to claw back some points in the championship.”
“This is a fantastic win for me and a chance to win another event in another car,” said Al-Attiyah. “The Toyota was impressive, so much so that I would like to continue in the championship in places where there are no clashes with the MERC and WRC.
“After winning the Bajas here, the Sealine event was totally different. It was a proper cross-country event. The stages were rough, challenging and never easy. It was a superb effort by the team at the QMMF to make such a good rally so soon after entering the championship.”
Spaniard Marc Coma headed Portugal’s Helder Rodrigues by 5m 59s at the start of the day in the motorcycle category and needed to run quickly with the leaders to avoid losing too much time to the Portuguese on the day’s special. He started in third, with Rodrigues in eighth, and reached the finish with the second quickest time to record a comfortable 6m 05s victory over Rodrigues, the defending FIM champion.
Jordi Viladoms finished third on his Bordone-Ferrari Team KTM, Poland’s Jakub Przygonski was fourth and Portugal’s Ruben Faria rounded off the top five, but the results were provisional pending an investigation into a missing stamp on a couple of time cards.
After his crash and delays on Friday, Spain’s Joan Barreda Bort recovered well to set the fastest time of the day on his Husqvarna. The UAE Mohammed Al-Balooshi set the 13th quickest time on the final stage and finished the event in 12th position.
Emirati Obaid Al-Kitbe started the final stage with a 6m 58s lead over Poland’s Rafal Sonik in the quad category, but mechanical problems wrecked the UAE rider’s chance of lifting the title and Sonik powered through to the finish, with Uruguay’s Luis Henderson finishing second and Qatar’s Adel Hussain Abdullah taking third place.
Al-Mutaiwei and Schulz began the day just 48 seconds behind the Argentinean duo of Lucio Alvarez and Bernardo Graue and knew that they would need to attack if they were to gain second position and pile more pressure on Jean-Louis Schlesser at the top of the points’standings for the FIA World Cup.
But they hit trouble in the early part of the stage and dropped over eight minutes to the Frenchman. It was a struggle for the Emirati to make up the time over the closing kilometres, but he managed to hang on to third place by just 3min 41sec.
Overall positions after SS4 - unofficial @ 11.25hrs Cars
1. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Lucas Cruz Senra (ESP) Toyota Hilux 11h 20m 59s 2. Lucio Alvarez (ARG)/Bernardo Graue (ARG) Toyota Hilux 12h 10m 22s 3. Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei (UAE)/Andreas Schulz (DEU) Mini All4 Racing 12h 18m 07s 4. Jean-Louis Schlesser (FRA)/Konstantin Zlitstov (RUS) Schlesser Original 12h 21m 48s 5. Faisal Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) Toyota HiLux 13h 02m 48s 6. Boris Gadasin (RUS)/Dan Shchemel (RUS) G-Force Proto 13h 03m 02s 7. Ilya Kusnetsov (RUS)/Roman Elagin (RUS) BMW X3 CC 13h 23m 37s 8. Yayha Al-Helai (UAE)/Khalid Al-Kendi (UAE) Nissan Patrol 16h 26m 40s
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