CC Nasser Al Attiyah extends his lead in Baja Spain Aragon
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
Saturday, July 19th, 2008
QATAR’S AL-ATTIYAH EXTENDS X-RAID
TEAM’S LEAD IN BAJA SPAIN ARAGON
- Portugal’s Campos holds third in a BMW X3 CC
- X-raid Russia’s Novitskiy climbs to fourth position
- Terranova stages fight-back through field for X-raid
ZARAGOZA (Spain): The AlgoDyne Green Power Racing Team’s Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Swedish co-driver Tina Thörner extended their overall lead in the 2008 Baja Spain Aragon to an impressive 8m 34s after Saturday’s stages held in punishing heat and dust in central Spain.
The event is the third round of the FIA International Cup for Cross-Country Bajas and Al-Attiyah has already bagged two outright victories in Saudi Arabia and Italy for the Trebur-based X-raid team.
He heads into Sunday’s final 126.74km selective section and a repeat of Saturday evening’s one-kilometre super special well-placed to complete a stunning hat-trick of Baja successes and confirm that X-raid’s BMW X3CC is a serious contender for overall honours in Dakar 2009.
“It has been a very good day for our entire team,” said a delighted X-raid’s team director Sven Quandt. “We have shown how competitive our car can be without any problems whatsoever. Nasser drove very well today and has put himself in a strong position to take an excellent win with just a short day to go. Now he must drive safely and take no risks.”
Portugal’s Filipe Campos holds third position in the X-raid Portugal BMW X3 CC and Russian Leonid Novitskiy is fourth overall. Argentina’s Orlando Terranova set the fifth fastest time on the day’s longer special and moved up the leaderboard after Friday’s delays to an unofficial 10th position.
Al-Attiyah and Thörner began the second leg with a 4m 46s overall advantage over the Spanish crew of Joan Roma and Lucas Cruz. Portugal’s Filipe Campos was third, Leonid Novitskiy was eighth, while Bernardo Moniz da Maia and co-driver Joana Sotto-Mayor were 15th.
Terranova and co-driver Lee Palmer found themselves down in 38th position after losing time with problems on the second section of the second selective section.
Saturday’s competitive action began with a 133.12km selective between Villamayor and Huesca, north of Zaragoza, and preceded a shortened 211.63km section from Longares to Belchite via Alcaniz and a run through a super special stage in central Zaragoza held in memory of the late Colin McRae.
Al-Attiyah was again the fastest driver on the stage, despite running first on the road and the Qatari extended his overall lead to 6m 29s over Roma, who set the fourth fastest time behind Luc Alphand and X-raid Portugal’s Filipe Campos.
Novitskiy and Terranova were classified sixth and seventh and the result moved Terranova up to 20th in the general classification. Moniz da Maia moved up to 11th, but retired on the second stage of the day.
The Longares to Belchite special took on added significance for rally leader Al-Attiyah and he had edged a further three seconds ahead of Roma at the 45.82km checkpoint. The Qatari was 1m 14s ahead of the Spaniard after 118km, a further 14 seconds ahead after 197km and in a class of his own at the head of the field.
Both Frenchman Luc Alphand and Al-Attiyah’s main FIA Baja Cup rival Boris Gadasin retired on the stage, as Al-Attiyah took an 8m 32s lead into the final super special of the day in Zaragoza.
There will be two final sections on Sunday (July 20th), beginning with a run through a 126.74km section from Longares to Belchite and finishing with a repeat of the McRae Memorial stage in central Zaragoza from 12.51hrs.
Baja Spain Aragon – positions at end of leg 2 (unofficial)
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QA)/Tina Thörner (S) BMW X3 CC 7h 50m 48s
2. Joan Roma (E)/Lucas Cruz (E) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 7h 59m 22s
3. Filipe Campos (P)/Jaime Baptista (P) BMW X3 CC 8h 04m 32s
4. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS)/Oleg Tyupenkin (RUS) BMW X3 CC 8h 34m 59s
5. Tonni van Deijne (NL)/Wouter Rosegaar (NL) Mitsubishi L200 8h 48m 18s
10. Orlando Terranova (RA)/Lee Palmer (AUS) BMW X3 CC 9h 07m 05s
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.