CC Bruno Saby retires from international rallying
X-RAID TEAM NEWS
BAJA SPAIN ARAGON (July 17th-20th, 2008)
FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, round 3 of 6
For immediate release
Friday, July 18th, 2008
FRENCHMAN BRUNO SABY RETIRES
FROM INTERNATIONAL RALLYING
X-raid’s Nasser Al-Attiyah takes comfortable lead in Baja Spain
ZARAGOZA (Spain): Frenchman Bruno Saby has taken the decision to retire from international rallying during the second day of the Baja Spain Aragon, round three of the 2008 FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas.
The Grenoble driver was lying sixth overall with the AlgoDyne Green Power Racing Team after the first selective section of the Baja Spain Aragon, but took the decision to quit before the second longer selective section on Friday.
Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Swedish co-driver Tina Thorner held a comfortable overall lead after the first day in their X-raid BMW X3CC. The pair were fastest on both the selective sections and headed into the overnight halt with a 4m 46s lead over Spaniard Joan Roma.
X-raid Portugal’s Filipe Campos held third position and X-raid Russia’s Leonid Novitskiy was eighth overall.
“I was not sure of the pace at the start of the first stage because I was running first on the road and I lost around 40 seconds in the first 50km,” admitted Al-Attiyah. “But then I speeded up and found a good safe pace. I quickly moved ahead of the Mitsubishis and have a good lead. The plan now is to push hard on Saturday and try and extend the lead without making any mistakes.”
Saby’s sudden decision to retire from international motor sport brings down the curtain on a career that has spanned over 40 years and seen him win rallies in various disciplines at the highest level.
Saby, 59, won the Dakar Rally with co-driver Dominique Serieys in 1993 and was a former factory driver for the Lancia Abarth and Peugeot Talbot Sport teams in the FIA World Rally Championship.
He replaced the late Colin McRae in the X-raid team before the 2007 UAE Desert Challenge and was a former driver for Team Mitsubishi Ralliart and Volkswagen Motorsport, winning the 2005 Patagonia-Atacama Rally and the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies with the German team.
Saby entered the first of his 39 WRC rallies in 1973 and took his maiden victory in Corsica during the halcyon days of the FISA Group B category in 1986. He also won the 1988 Monte Carlo Rally, before switching to the exciting discipline of Cross-Country rallying after the 1991 Lombard RAC Rally.
Baja Spain Aragon – positions after leg 1 (unofficial):
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QA)/Tina Thörner (S) BMW X3 CC 3h 59m 40s
2. Joan Roma (E)/Lucas Cruz (E) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 4h 04m 26s
3. Filipe Campos (P)/Jaime Baptista (P) BMW X3 CC 4h 09m 55s
4. Luc Alphand (F)/Gilles Picard (F) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 4h 10m 57s
5. Hiroshi Masuoka (J)/Pascal Maimon (F) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 4h 16m 59s
8. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS)/Oleg Tyupenkin (RUS) BMW X3 CC 4h 27m 28s
Further information and photos are available at www.x-raid.de or contact Yvette Theisen at X-raid GmbH, Tel: + 49 (0) 6147 204670, E-mail: email@example.com.