CC Al Attiyah sets fastest time for BMW on final Pax Rally stage
X-RAID TEAM NEWS
PAX RALLY, Dakar Series, round 2 (September 9th-14th, 2008)
For immediate release
Sunday, September 14th, 2008
Leg 5: Portimao - Portimao: liaison, 15km; special, 68km (shortened because of a forest fire); liaison, 1km; total, 84 km.
BMW X-RAID'S AL-ATTIYAH SEALS FIFTH IN PAX
RALLY WITH FASTEST TIME ON FINAL STAGE
Portugal's Campos confirms seventh place; Chicherit in eighth
Peterhansel passes Sainz to win new Pax Rally
PORTIMAO (Portugal): Three leading members of the AlgoDyne Green Power Racing Team finished fifth, seventh and eighth overall after five gruelling legs of the new Pax Rally in Portugal, with Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah setting the fastest time on the shortened final stage for the X-raid team on Sunday.
The event was organised by the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) as the second half of the new Dakar Series to compensate competitors for the cancellation of the 2008 Dakar Rally and featured 829 competitive kilometres in a total route of 1583km. Sunday's final section should have been a 68km loop stage around Portimao, but a forest fire broke out on the stage and the section was shortened to under 40km by event officials.
Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Swedish co-driver Tina Thörner eventually finished in fifth position in their X-raid-prepared BMW X3 CC, after first day delays with suspension problems and one puncture cost them the chance of claiming a podium finish.
"It was an enjoyable rally, but I was not able to push from the start," admitted Al-Attiyah. "We did not have the right set-up to enable me to attack here and I decided to take it carefully each day after losing so much time on the first leg. There is some work still to be done with the set-up, but we are moving in the right direction and I know that we have the speed and the performance to beat our rivals. We are getting better all the time."
Portugal's Filipe Campos and Jaime Baptiste were eighth quickest on Sunday to confirm seventh in the overall standings, while the French duo of Guerlain Chicherit and Matthieu Baumel recovered well from delays earlier in the week to finish eighth overall and set the fifth fastest time on the final stage.
Argentinean Orlando Terranova and French co-driver Alain Guehennec lost any chance of taking a top five position when Terranova was hampered by illness on the first leg and the pair did not finish the final stage after a linkage failed in the gearbox. Leonid Novitskiy and Oleg Tyupenkin lost time after an accident during day three in the X-raid Russia BMW X3 CC, but completed the final leg in 10th position.
The event was won by Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel, who surged past Spaniard Carlos Sainz on the shortened final stage to seal victory. Peterhansel's team mate Luc Alphand finished third overall.
"It was pleasing to see Nasser set the fastest time today," said X-raid's team director Sven Quandt. "We had a different set-up and he was able to push a little more. We still have work to do. We need to find the best set-up for the car over the next few weeks and will plan the testing programme in due course."
The X-raid teams set out into the final 68km stage from third, sixth, seventh, 13th and 16th positions on the road, with Terranova and Novitskiy in 27th and 35th places in the overall classification after their delays earlier in the event.
The stage was stopped after eight cars had started because of the onset of a forest fire, although times were recorded for the second half of the special after the passage control point and Peterhansel did enough to secure the outright victory, with Al-Attiyah setting a deserved fastest time of the day for the Trebur-based X-raid team.
2008 Pax Rally - positions on shortened stage 6 (unofficial):
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QA)/Tina Thörner (S) BMW X3 CC 32m 26s
2. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (D) Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 32m 43s
3. Luc Alphand (F)/Gilles Picard (F) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 33m 03s
4. Joan Roma (E)/Lucas Cruz Senra (E) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 33m 26s
5. Guerlain Chicherit (F)/Matthieu Baumel (F) BMW X3 CC 33m 41s
6. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 33m 44s
7. Carlos Sainz (E)/Michel Périn (F) Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 34m 31s
8. Filipe Campos (P)/Jaime Baptista (P) BMW X3 CC 35m 07s
10. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS)/Oleg Tyupenkin (RUS) BMW X3 CC 35m 33s
2008 Pax Rally - positions after leg 5 (unofficial @ 15.20hrs):
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 10h 54m 14s
2. Carlos Sainz (E)/Michel Périn (F) Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 10h 54m 30s
3. Luc Alphand (F)/Gilles Picard (F) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 10h 55m 35s
4. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (D) Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 10h 56m 56s
5. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QA)/Tina Thörner (S) BMW X3 CC 10h 59m 55s
6. Joan Roma (E)/Lucas Cruz Senra (E) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 11h 06m 14s
7. Filipe Campos (P)/Jaime Baptista (P) BMW X3 CC 11h 14m 28s
8. Guerlain Chicherit (F)/Matthieu Baumel (F) BMW X3 CC 11h 54m 27s
9. Miroslav Zapletal (CZ)/Tómas Ourednicek (CZ) Mitsubishi Pajero 11h 56m 05s
32. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS)/Oleg Tyupenkin (RUS) BMW X3 CC 19h 42m 53s
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.