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CC Late puncture robs Al Attiyah and BMW of stage win

X-RAID TEAM NEWS
PAX RALLY, Dakar Series, round 2 (September 9th-14th, 2008)

For immediate release
Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Leg 2: Castelo Branco - Benevente: liaison, 43km; special, 199km; liaison, 155km, total, 397 km.

X-RAID'S AL-ATTIYAH ROBBED OF PAX
RALLY STAGE WIN BY LATE PUNCTURE

X-raid's Al-Attiyah and Campos hold seventh and eighth places
Spaniard Sainz ties Frenchman Alphand for outright lead

BENAVENTE (Portugal): Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Swedish co-driver Tina Thorner set the fourth fastest time for the AlgoDyne Green Power Racing Team on the second stage of the Pax Rally in Portugal on Thursday.

The BMW X-raid team duo duly moved up from eighth to seventh position in the overall standings, but the result could have been so much better had they not lost the stage lead after the second passage control when they collected a time-consuming late puncture.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz moved into the joint outright lead with Frenchman Luc Alphand with three days remaining. Alphand's team mate Stéphane Peterhansel benefited from Al-Attiyah's misfortune to claim the fastest time of the day and move to within two seconds of the leading pair.

"We softened the suspension settings on the cars last night and it made a world of difference," said X-raid's team director Sven Quandt. "Nasser was the man to beat on the stage today. He led all the way through the first two passage controls and would have taken the stage win. But he got a puncture after the last PC. He proved that we have the pace to beat our rivals though and we will continue to press on tomorrow."

Al-Attiyah's X-raid team mates, Filipe Campos and Jaime Baptista, set the ninth fastest time and slipped to eighth in the general classification in their X-raid Portugal BMW X3 CC. Frenchman Guerlain Chicherit and co-driver Matthieu Baumel were eighth quickest and moved up from 14th overall. Russian Leonid Novitskiy was provisionally 11th and held 10th place.

Overnight leader Luc Alphand led the surviving 44 teams into the second stage, with Campos and Al-Attiyah heading the X-raid contingent in seventh and eighth places. Chicherit and Terranova restarted in 14th and 36th places after delays on the opening day, which saw the Argentinean incur heavy time penalties through personal illness.

Overnight revisions to the suspension settings on the X-raid cars paid dividends and Al-Attiyah was the fastest driver in the entire field at the 63.10km opening passage control, the Qatari edging 13 seconds in front of his rivals, with Germany's Dieter Depping and Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel his closest challengers. Campos, Chicherit, Terranova and Novitskiy were running in sixth, ninth, 11th and 12th places.

Al-Attiyah maintained the initiative through the second passage control at the 121.59km point and was running 12 seconds ahead of Peterhansel, with Joan Roma and Depping over a minute behind and overnight leader Alphand 2m 16s adrift. Chicherit leapt into contention for a top stage result by running in the sixth fastest position on the stage, with Campos in eighth and Novitskiy in 10th.

Terranova was enjoying a super run at the back of the field, overtaking numerous back-markers as he continued to surge through the pack after his illness on Wednesday. He was 14th quickest at PC2.

Al-Attiyah maintained his composure over the closing 78km, but he collected a puncture and slipped to fourth position, with Peterhansel benefiting to claim the stage win.

Tomorrow (Friday) teams will tackle two short 90km selective sections. The first follows a 22km liaison from Benavente and the second precedes a road section to the quaint old village of Alcochete on the banks of the Tagus river. The organisers report that this stage had been planned for use in the cancelled 2008 Dakar Rally.

2008 Pax Rally - positions on stage 2 (unofficial):
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 3h 01m 26s
2. Joan Roma (E)/Lucas Cruz Senra (E) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution  3h 03m 20s
3. Dieter Depping (D)/Timo Gottschalk (D) Volkswagen Race Touareg 2  3h 03m 42s
4. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QA)/Tina Thörner (S) BMW X3 CC   3h 04m 03s
5. Carlos Sainz (E)/Michel Périn (F) Volkswagen Race Touareg 2   3h 05m 36s
6. Luc Alphand (F)/Gilles Picard (F) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution   3h 05m 38s
7. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (D) Volkswagen Race Touareg 2  3h 06m 04s
8. Guerlain Chicherit (F)/Matthieu Baumel (F) BMW X3 CC   3h 07m 45s
9. Filipe Campos (P)/Jaime Baptista (P) BMW X3 CC    3h 09m 57s
11. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS)/Oleg Tyupenkin (RUS) BMW X3 CC   3h 16m 46s

2008 Pax Rally - positions after leg 2 (unofficial @ 14.30hrs):
1. Luc Alphand (F)/Gilles Picard (F) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution   6h 28m 25s
1. Carlos Sainz (E)/Michel Périn (F) Volkswagen Race Touareg 2   6h 28m 25s
3. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 6h 28m 27s
4. Dieter Depping (D)/Timo Gottschalk (D) Volkswagen Race Touareg 2  6h 28m 55s
5. Joan Roma (E)/Lucas Cruz Senra (E) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution  6h 29m 06s
6. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (D) Volkswagen Race Touareg 2  6h 29m 44s
7. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QA)/Tina Thörner (S) BMW X3 CC   6h 33m 50s
8. Filipe Campos (P)/Jaime Baptista (P) BMW X3 CC    6h 38m 47s
9. Pedro Grancha (P)/Paulo Primaz (P) Nissan Navara   6h 47m 10s
10. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS)/Oleg Tyupenkin (RUS) BMW X3 CC   6h 55m 08s
TBA. Guerlain Chicherit (F)/Matthieu Baumel (F) BMW X3 CC   7h 06m 20s
TBA. Orlando Terranova (RA)/Alain Guehennec (F) BMW X3 CC   TBA
 
Ends

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: 11/09/2008

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