Dania Akeel takes second place in T3 at Baja Poland

Dania Akeel takes second place in T3 at Baja Poland

06.09.2022: Saudi Arabian driver Dania Akeel finished in an impressive second place at Columna Medica Baja Poland during the latest 2022 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Baja. The fifth round of the eight-Baja series was based out of Szczecin in north-western

Saudi Arabian driver Dania Akeel finished in an impressive second place at Columna Medica Baja Poland during the latest 2022 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Baja.

The fifth round of the eight-Baja series was based out of Szczecin in north-western Poland and fought out over five demanding off-road sections over three days.

The bulk of the competition waged over two stages across the daunting training grounds at the nearby Drawsko Pomorskie military base and Akeel reached the finish in an excellent second in category behind the series-leading Spaniard Fernando Alvarez.

Akeel said: “We made it. The last day was not too long with just 60km. But this is another strong result for us. The car was fantastic. It handled the bumps really well. The suspension on it was perfect. Many thanks to my sponsors, Toyota, Tamer, Hertz, Toyota Motor Oil and Femi9 for their valuable ongoing support and BF Goodrich for the great tyres. No punctures this weekend.

“I had a great time. I was here last year and it rained on the second day. It was a completely different experience. It’s like I was driving in a different country from last year. Today was very technical, with lots of twists and turns, even though it was a short stage. Yesterday was fast and smooth and fun and long. Now I look forward to the next event in Portugal.”

Frenchman Laurent Lichtleuchter returned to co-drive for the talented young Saudi, who lined up in her Can-Am Maverick XRS against seven rivals in the FIA T3 category.

Polish officials made several minor route modifications before the event got underway from the city of Szczecin.

The competitive distance was reduced from 491.30km to 488.91km by trimming the Qualifying Stage to 5.83km, taking six kilometres of competitive distance off both runs through the Drawsko Pomorskie base and adding around 4.5km to each of the shorter two selective sections on Sunday.

Alvarez and Navarro were again quickest on the first pass through the Drawsko Pomorskie selective section, where another third fastest time kept Akeel firmly in the hunt.

Her co-driver Lichtleuchter said: “The Qualifying Stage was okay with no problem, except that the door opened one time. There was a lot of navigation on the long stage. We made one small mistake. I don’t know exactly how we did it. We took the right corner and lost a little bit of time there. Dania was driving fast and the car felt good. It was okay for us. Last year we had a little rain and the second day was terrible, but the weather this weekend was perfect.”

The second pass through the Drawsko Pomorskie military proving grounds was reduced to 138.62km in length because of a time delay that occurred when fellow Saudi Arabian driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi’s car was destroyed in a freak on-stage fire.

Two short stages of 30.70km apiece ran between Wolczkowo and Dobra on Sunday before the ceremonial finish in Szczecin. Akeel shadowed Nascimento and Alvarez to the finish of the opener and moved up to second overall when the Brazilian incurred time penalties.

She held station on the repeat run to confirm a fine second in the T3 section behind Alvarez.

Akeel has a multi-year title sponsorship partnership with ALJ Toyota and is receiving additional support from Toyota ALJ, Tamer, Hertz, Femi9 and BF Goodrich for her challenge for honours in the 2022 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas.

Baja Portalegre plays host to the sixth round of the series and takes place in northern Portugal at the end of October.  

2022 Columna Medica Baja Poland – FIA T3 final standings:

1. Fernando Alvarez (ESP)/Xavier Panseri (FRA) Can-Am Maverick XRS    5hr 14min 38.4sec
2. Dania Akeel (SAU)/Laurent Lichtleuchter (FRA) Can-Am Maverick XRS    5hr 36min 56.0sec
3. Filipe Nascimento (PRT)/João Fernandez Serodio (PRT) Can-Am Maverick X3    5hr 45min 36.1sec
4. Jordi Segura (ESP)/Pedro Lopez (ESP) Can-Am Maverick X3 XRS    5hr 52min 19.4sec
5. Mashael Al-Obaidan (SAU)/Hector Garcia (PER) Can-Am Maverick X3 XRS    6hr 01min 30.3sec
6. Pau Navarro (ESP)/Michael Metge (FRA) Can-Am Maverick XRS    6hr 06min 38.2sec

Bernd Hoffmann (DEU)/Juan Carlos Carignani (ESP) Can-Am Maverick X3 XRS    DNF
Ricardo Ramilo (ESP)/Alexandra Pereira Chambek (PRT) Can-Am Maverick X3 XRS    DNF


Simon Melluish - photos Baja Poland

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/dania-akeel-second-place-t3-baja-poland---242170.html

06.09.2022 / MaP

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