CC Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei clinches superb second overall in Baja Spain
2012 FIA WORLD CUP FOR CROSS-COUNTRY RALLIES
Baja Spain, July 20-22, 2012
For immediate release
Sunday, July 22nd 2012
UAE’S KHALIFA AL-MUTAIWEI MAINTAINS WORLD CUP
CHALLENGE BY CLAIMING SECOND OVERALL IN BAJA SPAIN
· Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel wins Baja Spain for third time
ZARAGOZA (Spain): Dubai’s Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei and German co-driver Andreas Schulz maintained their FIA World Cup challenge by finishing a superb second overall in the Baja Spain, round four of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, on Sunday.
The Dubai-based Fazza Rally Team star started Sunday’s final 202.35km special stage in third position after setting the fourth quickest time through the second shorter stage on Saturday afternoon in his Mini All4 Racing.
He eventually recorded the quickest time to shadow the most successful Dakar racer of all time to the finish podium and close in on Frenchman Jean-Louis Schlesser at the top of the FIA World Cup Drivers’ Championship, which the Emirati is aiming to win for the first time since 2004.
Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel and his co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret moved ahead of Russia’s Vladimir Vasilyev on the second of Saturday’s special stages and stayed out of trouble on Sunday to confirm outright victory in their Mini All4 Racing. The triumph marked Peterhansel’s third on the event after wins in 2007 and 2010.
“This is exactly the result I was looking for and everything went according to plan,” said a delighted Al-Mutaiwei. “I am so happy to finish second for the second time here in Spain. My result also helps me to bridge the gap with Schlesser. We have finished four rounds and there are four left.
“I also showed today that I have made good progress in my performance event on event.”
Peterhansel was four seconds slower than his Saturday split time to the 55.59km point of the final stage on Sunday and Al-Mutaiwei dropped 47 seconds to the leader but maintained a virtual third overall.
Peterhansel was the quickest to the checkpoint at 98.06km and reached the 154.97km checkpoint 35 seconds than he had done on Saturday. Al-Mutaiwei was safely ensconced in third position, taking few risks and on course for the final podium position, but he reached the 154.97km point 3m 28s in front of Vasilyev and had snatched a virtual second overall heading into the final section of the stage.
Peterhansel held on to secure a time of 2h 26m 56s and his third victory in Baja Spain. Al-Mutaiwei reached the stage finish 10 seconds in front of the multiple Dakar champion to seal second position with the fastest time of the day. Vasilyev finished third overall in his G-Force Proto.
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