CC Shock absorber settings cost BMW team time in Pax Rally

2008 PAX RALLY, Dakar Series, round 2 (September 10th-14th, 2008)

For immediate release
Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Leg 1: Lisbon - Castelo Branco: liaison, 160km; special, 223km; liaison, 1km; total, 384 km.


Shock absorber settings cost X-raid time on day one
Luc Alphand edges into overall lead after opening leg

CASTELO BRANCO (Portugal): The.AlgoDyne Green Power Racing Team began a campaign for success in the new Pax Rally by taking the seventh and eighth fastest times on the opening 223km selective section between Lisbon and Castelo Branco in Portugal on Wednesday.

The Portuguese pairing of Filipe Campos and Jaime Baptista led the way for the BMW X-Raid team with a time of 3m 28m 50s in their BMW X3 CC, although both Campos and eighth-placed Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Swedish co-driver Tina Thörner remained in a good position to mount a serious challenge over the next couple of days.

Russians Leonid Novitskiy and Oleg Tyupenkin were 10th overall in their X-raid Russia BMW X3 CC after the technical stage held in dry, dusty conditions in central Portugal, while the French duo of Guerlain Chicherit and Matthieu Baumel held an unofficial 13th position.

Frenchman Luc Alphand set the fastest time of the day and takes a slender two-second overnight lead over Spaniard Carlos Sainz into Thursday's second stage. South African driver Giniel de Villiers is nearly a minute behind in third place.

"It was not the best of starts for us because we had the wrong shock absorber settings on the cars and none of our drivers were able to push," admitted X-raid's team director Sven Quandt. "The tyres were like new at the end of the stage. We now need to find a set-up that gives our drivers the chance to push harder on Thursday."

Sainz led the field of 49 cars into the opening selective section at three-minute intervals, with X-raid's Al-Attiyah, Campos, Guerlain Chicherit, Novitskiy and Orlando Terranova starting the section from sixth, eighth, 10th, 12th and 13th positions on the road.

German rally driver Dieter Depping led the entourage after the opening passage control at the 87.40km point of the twisty and technical stage, with Spaniard Joan Roma, Sainz and Alphand his closest challengers.

The X-raid team drivers were handily-placed in seventh, eighth, 10th, 11th and 12th places, with Campos leading the quintet of BMW X3CCs in his X-raid Portugal car.

By the second passage control at 156.31km, Sainz had edged five seconds in front of Alphand, with X-raid's Campos and Al-Attiyah in seventh and eighth positions, although Al-Attiyah complained that a wrong shock absorber setting was the reason that he lost time to his main rivals and a similar problem affected all the X-raid cars.

Argentinean Orlando Terranova and French co-driver Alain  Guehennec held 10th position at the first passage control in the fifth X-raid BMW before being delayed later in the stage.

Tomorrow (Thursday) the second leg of the Pax Rally heads from Castelo Branco to Benevente across the Ribatejo plains and includes a 199km selective section in a route of 397km. The first car is due to leave the stage start at 09.55hrs (local time) after a 43km liaison section to the beginning of the competitive action.

2008 Pax Rally - positions after leg 1 (unofficial @ 16.00hrs):
1. Luc Alphand (F)/Gilles Picard (F) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution   3h 22m 47s
2. Carlos Sainz (E)/Michel Périn (F) Volkswagen Race Touareg 2   3h 22m 49s
3. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (D) Volkswagen Race Touareg 2  3h 23m 40s
4. Dieter Depping (D)/Timo Gottschalk (D) Volkswagen Race Touareg 2  3h 25m 13s
5. Joan Roma (E)/Lucas Cruz Senra (E) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution  3h 25m 46s
6. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 3h 27m 01s
7. Filipe Campos (P)/Jaime Baptista (P) BMW X3 CC    3h 28m 50s
8. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QA)/Tina Thörner (S) BMW X3 CC   3h 29m 47s
9. Pedro Grancha (P)/Paulo Primaz (P) Nissan Navara   3h 33m 24s
10. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS)/Oleg Tyupenkin (RUS) BMW X3 CC   3h 38m 22s
13. Guerlain Chicherit (F)/Matthieu Baumel (F) BMW X3 CC   3h 58m 35s

TBA. Orlando Terranova (RA)/Alain Guehennec (F) BMW X3 CC   TBA


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: y.theisen@x-raid.de.

Date issued: 10/09/2008

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