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DAK Second fastest time for Guerlain Chicherit on day two of Dakar Rally

X-RAID TEAM NEWS

32nd Dakar Rally (January 1st-17th, 2010)

 

Stage 2: Córdoba-La Rioja: liaison, 56km; special, 355km; liaison, 276km, total, 687km.

 

For immediate release

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

 

TEAM X-RAID GMBH’S CHICHERIT AND PETERHANSEL

SET SECOND AND SIXTH FASTEST TIMES INTO LA RIOJA

 

  • Roma rolls and slips to eighth; Peterhansel holds third overall
  • X-Raid Leonid’s Novitskiy finishes 12th to hold 13th place
  • Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah moves into overall Dakar lead

LA RIOJA (Argentina): Team X-raid GmbH’s Guerlain Chicherit and Stéphane Peterhansel set the second and sixth fastest times on the demanding 355km second special stage of the 2010 Dakar Rally between Cordoba and La Rioja in Argentina on Sunday.

 

The stage time ensured that Peterhansel and his French co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret headed into the overnight halt in third position in the general classification in their BMW X3 CC, 2m 30s behind Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and German co-driver Timo Gottschalk, who moved into a 1m 19s outright lead with the day’s fastest time.

 

The X–raid team’s overnight leaders, Joan ‘Nani’ Roma and Michel Périn, lost their place at the head of the leader board when they rolled near the stage start and lost over 15 minutes. They eventually finished the technical special in an unofficial 18th position and slipped to eighth overall. X-raid’s Leonid Novitskiy and Andreas Schulz set the 12th fastest time and now hold 13th in the overall standings.

 

“It was a case of good and bad luck again for us today,” admitted X-raid team director Sven Quandt. “It was a fantastic stage result for Guerlain after the problems on Saturday, but bad luck for Nani. Thankfully he did not lose too much time and is still inside the top 10 and not too far behind, but I think that the rally really starts tomorrow.”

 

Sunday’s 355km special was delayed by 30 minutes because of adverse weather conditions in the Córdoba area. The special included several of the famous sections from the WRC event in Argentina, including the El Condor stage.

 

The day started badly for overnight leader Roma, who admitted that his opening stage win was merely the start of a long battle. A mere two kilometres into the second special he rolled his BMW X3 CC into a ditch. Fortunately for the Spaniard, the incident was not severe and the crew lost just 15 minutes getting the car back on the track and on its way again.

 

Peterhansel shadowed Brazilian Maurizio Neves, Al-Attiyah and teammate Chicherit through the 50km checkpoint in fourth position and Guerlain managed to hold on to his virtual third place through 90km where Peterhansel slipped to fifth.

 

The Frenchman was in fine form and moved ahead of Al-Attiyah after 136km and into the outright stage lead through 181km, but he had slipped back to third position by the time the leading cars reached the passage control at 223km. Peterhansel held fourth, Novitskiy was 12th and Roma had clawed back some of his lost time and was running in 20th position on the stage.

 

Chicherit managed to sneak passed Neves again over the closing kilometres to record the second fastest time. He had been delayed with electrical problems on the stage between Cólon and Córdoba on Saturday and lost around 50 minutes as a result. The Frenchman was classified 84th overall at the end of the stage and was permitted to start Sunday’s second stage from 21st position on the road on safety grounds.

 

“These things can happen in rally-raid,” admitted Chicherit. “The engine started to cut out after 50km, but we managed to keep it rolling. But, with 60km to go, it died and it took us one hour to get to the problem. Assuming it was dry, today was always going to be a dusty one for us, starting further down the order.”

 

Crews will spend Sunday night in a bivouac near the cattle farming town of La Rioja, the birthplace of the former Argentine President, Isabel Martinez de Perón.

 

Tomorrow (Monday) the route begins the steady climb towards the Andes foothills and crews will tackle the 182km special stage to Fiambalá, a town in the Tinogasta department in the western region of Catamarca. A portion of the stage and the overnight bivouac are located at the beginning of the Altiplano at around 1,500 metres above sea level.

 

The day begins with a tiring 259km road liaison, which winds its way along the side of the Sierra de Velasco hills and the relatively short stage starts at Santa Rosa to the east of the overnight halt. The stage forms a loop to the north and west of Fiambalá, includes three passage controls and takes place with the backdrop of the Cordillera de San Buenaventura mountains on the western horizon.

 

2010 Dakar Rally – positions on SS2 (unofficial @ 15.30 hrs):

1. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QA)/Timo Gottschalk (D) Volkswagen Race Touareg                4h 01m 55s

2. Guerlain Chicherit (F)/Tina Thörner (S) BMW X3 CC                                          4h 03m 03s

3. Maurizio Neves (BR)/Clecio Maestrelli (BR) Volkswagen Race Touareg                4h 03m 56s

4. Carlos Sainz (E)/Lucas Cruz (E) Volkswagen Race Touareg                                      4h 04m 36s

5. Mark Miller (USA)/Ralph Pitchford (ZA) Volkswagen Race Touareg                      4h 04m 39s

6. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) BMW X3 CC                     4h 05m 04s

7. Christian Laveille (F)/Jean-Paul Forthomme (B) Nissan Dessoude                             4h 08m 09s

8. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (D) Volkswagen Race Touareg                4h 08m 10s

12. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS)/Andreas Schulz (D) BMW X3 CC                     4h 13m 26s

18. Joan ‘Nani’ Roma (E)/Michel Périn (F) BMW X3 CC                                     4h 17m 08s

 

2010 Dakar Rally – overall positions after SS2 (unofficial @ 15.30 hrs):

1. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QA)/Timo Gottschalk (D) Volkswagen Race Touareg                6h 16m 39s

2. Carlos Sainz (E)/Lucas Cruz (E) Volkswagen Race Touareg                                      6h 17m 58s

3. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) BMW X3 CC                     6h 19m 09s

4. Mark Miller (USA)/Ralph Pitchford (ZA) Volkswagen Race Touareg                      6h 22m 07s

5. Maurizio Neves (BR)/Clecio Maestrelli (BR) Volkswagen Race Touareg                6h 22m 19s

6. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (D) Volkswagen Race Touareg                6h 23m 56s

7. Carlos Sousa (P)/Matthieu Baumel (F) Mitsubishi Racing Lancer                     6h 26m 52s

8. Joan ‘Nani’ Roma (E)/Michel Périn (F) BMW X3 CC                                     6h 28m 23s

9. Robbie Gordon (USA)/Andy Grider (USA) Hummer                                                                6h 29m 07s

10. Christian Laveille (F)/Jean-Paul Forthomme (B) Nissan Dessoude                             6h 29m 29s

13. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS)/Andreas Schulz (D) BMW X3 CC                     6h 31m 43s

TBA. Guerlain Chicherit (F)/Tina Thörner (S) BMW X3 CC                                          7h 12m 11s

 

Ends

 

Further information and photos are available at www.x-raid.de or contact Stefanie Marquard/Thomas Quandt at X-raid GmbH, Tel: + 49 (0) 6147 204670, E-mail: s.marquard@x-raid.de and t.quandt@x-raid.de.

 

 

 

Date issued: 03/01/2010

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