DAK Terranova holds eighth for BMW into Chile

DAKAR RALLY 2009 (January 3rd-January 18th, 2009)

Leg 7: Mendoza - Valparaiso
Liaison, 80 km; special, 243 km; liaison, 419 km; total, 742 km.

For immediate release
Friday, January 9th, 2009


· Dutchman Kuipers maintains top 10 position into Chile
· Frenchman Chicherit sets the fifth fastest time into the Andes

VALPARAISO (Chile): Four of the X-raid's Sails Capital Racing Team's original six BMW X3 CCs crossed the mighty Andes mountain range and arrived at Valparaiso on Chile's Pacific Coast, having survived one of the toughest starts to a Dakar Rally in the notorious event's 30-year history.

The Trebur-based X-raid team had led the event for two of the first six days and proved that the BMW X3 CC is a competitive Dakar Rally-winning package.

Following the withdrawal of X-raid's former leader Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah in Mendoza on Thursday evening, Argentina's Orlando Terranova and French co-driver Alain Guehennec took up the reins as the leading X-raid crew and arrived in Valparaiso in eighth overall, despite dropping time on the day's special stage.

They began the morning's special stage in ninth and were ninth quickest through the first checkpoint, with French team mates Guerlain Chicherit and Matthieu Baumel running in seventh position early on through the 243km special, which had been shortened because of recent heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in the Andes foothills. Chicherit eventually set the fifth fastest time and climbed to 19th overall.

Dutchman René Kuipers and Portuguese co-driver Filipe Palmeiro found themselves in 10th overall at the start of the morning's action and, when news filtered through that defending champion Stephane Peterhansel had retired with engine problems, Kuipers maintained 10th position into Valparaiso, despite setting the 22nd fastest time.

X-raid Russia's Leonid Novitskiy and Oleg Tyupenkin began the day in 24th position in the overall rankings after losing substantial time in a muddy swamp on Thursday. The Russians completed Friday's stage in Argentina in ninth place and now hold an unofficial 22nd in the overall rankings.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the traditional rest day assigned to the Dakar Rally by the ASO. It marks a crucial opportunity for crews to take a much-needed rest and for mechanics to carry out full repairs to the cars without watching the clock and needing to finish in time for an early morning restart.

The rest day also marks the arrival of numerous guests, media and VIPs from Europe, all keen to share the atmosphere of this unique event on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.

Overall positions on leg 7 (unofficial @ 15.00hrs):
1. Carlos Sainz (E)/Michel Périn (F) Volkswagen Race Touareg (T1.2)  2h 35m 27s
2. Mark Miller (USA)/Ralph Pitchford (ZA) Volkswagen Race Touareg (T1.2) 2h 39m 08s
3. Robbie Gordon (USA)/Andy Grider (USA) Hummer (Open 1)               2h 39m 40s
4. Joan 'Nani' Roma (E)/Lucas Cruz Senra (E) Mitsubishi Racing Lancer (T1.2) 2h 41m 04s
5. Guerlain Chicherit (F)/Matthieu Baumel (F) BMW X3 CC (T1.2)  2h 41m 35s
6. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Dirk von Zitzevitz (D) Volkswagen Race Touareg (T1.2) 2h 43m 15s
9. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS)/Oleg Tyupenkin (RUS) BMW X3 CC (T1.2)  2h 55m 07s

Other X-raid crews
22. René Kuipers (NL)/Filipe Palmeiro (P) BMW X3 CC (T1.2)               3h 23m 18s
27. Orlando Terranova (RA)/Alain Guehennec (F) BMW X3 CC (T1.2)              3h 57m 24s

Overall positions after leg 7:
1. Carlos Sainz (E)/Michel Périn (F) Volkswagen Race Touareg (T1.2)            23h 42m 40s
2. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Dirk von Zitzevitz (D) Volkswagen Race Touareg (T1.2)  23h 42m 49s
3. Mark Miller (USA)/Ralph Pitchford (ZA) Volkswagen Race Touareg (T1.2)       23h 56m 33s
4. Joan 'Nani' Roma (E)/Lucas Cruz Senra (E) Mitsubishi Racing Lancer (T1.2)   24h 11m 56s
5. Robbie Gordon (USA)/Andy Grider (USA) Hummer (Open 1)             24h 51m 01s
6. Krzysztof Holowczyc (PL)/Jean-Marc Fortin (B) Nissan Navara (T1.2)           26h 22m 12s
7. Ivar Erik Tollefsen (N)/Quin Evans (GB) Nissan Navara (T1.2)            26h 42m 01s
8. Orlando Terranova (RA)/Alain Guehennec (F) BMW X3 CC (T1.2)            27h 47m 33s
9. Dieter Depping (D)/Timo Gottschalk (D) Volkswagen Race Touareg (T1.2) 28h 30m 23s
10. René Kuipers (NL)/Filipe Palmeiro (P) BMW X3 CC (T1.2)             28h 42m 31s

Other X-raid crews
19. Guerlain Chicherit (F)/Matthieu Baumel (F) BMW X3 CC (T1.2)            34h 54m 25s
22. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS)/Oleg Tyupenkin (RUS) BMW X3 CC (T1.2)          35h 04m 09s


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: 09/01/2009

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