Al-Attiyah & Baumel within touching distance of Dakar victory

Al-Attiyah & Baumel within touching distance of Dakar victory

17.01.2015: Nasser Al-Attiyah © Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool Less than 400 kilometres separate Qatar Rally Team driver




Nasser Al-Attiyah © Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool




Less than 400 kilometres separate Qatar Rally Team driver Nasser Al-Attiyah from his second victory on the Dakar Rally. But the Qatari needs to survive a 174-kilometre stage tomorrow, plus two liaison sections that total 219 kilometres, in order to reach Buenos Aires and be sure of repeating his win from 2011.


In the meantime, his lead of the rally continues to grow. Fourth-fastest time on today’s stage means that he now has an advantage of 35 minutes over second-placed Giniel de Villiers, who has conceded that the fight for victory is over – in the normal course of events.


Nasser Al-Attiyah & Matthieu Baumel held their nerve over the 298-kilometre stage, which formed part of the longest leg of the rally: a staggering total of 1024 kilometres from Termas de Rio Hondo to Rosario, halfway across the width of Argentina. The stage was reminiscent of yesterday’s route, with fast and gravelly roads featuring plenty of corners: similar to a WRC stage.


Nasser excels on these technical stages, but his plan today was to keep his driving calm and measured, maintaining the same pace he has demonstrated from the very start of the event, nearly two weeks ago.


“It seemed like a long stage to us, so the priority was only to get through it without any risks,” said Nasser. “It went well and nobody caught us: we kept the speed in order not to lose the concentration.”


Nasser is fixed on one goal only: crossing the finish ramp at the Tecnopolis in Buenos Aires tomorrow at 3pm as the winner. And if he makes it, a part of his motivation will have come from the previous year, when he received an hour’s penalty that ruled him out of contention for victory.


“Last year was obviously very disappointing for me but I worked very hard and I vowed to come back stronger, so here we are,” he added. “The whole team is coming together very well at the moment, and so far on this Dakar everything has been working at 100%.”


Tomorrow, the final stage is fast and a little bit rocky: again, quite similar to the WRC-style stages that have characterised the action recently. Nasser won’t be starting first on the road, which means that he should have some tracks to follow and no reason to take any risks.


“I’m not stressed about tomorrow, not at all,” he concluded, demonstrating the serenity that has taken him to such a strong lead so far. “Tomorrow is another day, and as always I will try to do my best.”


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




Results of SS12:


1. Orlando Terranova (ARG)/Bernardo Graue (ARG) Mini 3h 04m 06s
2. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS)/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) +00:00:30
3. Emiliano Spataro (ARG)/Benjamin Lozada (ARG) +00:01:29
4. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) Qatar Rally Team +00:01:37
5. Bernhard Ten Brinke (NLD)/Tom Colsoul (BEL) Toyota +00:01:50



Overall ranking after SS12:


1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) Qatar Rally Team 40h 18m 30s
2. Giniel de Villiers (RSA)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (DEU) Toyota All Speed +00:35:39
3. Krzysztof Holowczyc (POL)/Xavier Panseri (FRA) Mini  +01:31:51
4. Erik van Loon (NLD)/Wouter Roesegar (NLD) Mini +03:01:34
5. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS)/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) +03:12:19
6. Christian Lavieille (FRA)/Pascal Maimon (FRA) Toyota +03:15:16
7. Bernhard Ten Brinke (NLD)/Tom Colsoul (BEL) Toyota +03:41:53
8. Carlos Sousa (PRT)/Paulo Fiuza (PRT) Mitsubishi +03:44:35
9. Aidyn Rakhimbayev (KAZ)/Anton Nikolaev (RUS) Mini +04:07:47
10. Ronan Chabot (FRA)/Gilles Pillot (FRA) SMG +04:41:37




Vera Dussausaye - photos Red Bull

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17.01.2015 / MaP

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