CC X Raid driver Al Attiyah confirms third place in Morocco
2007 Guy Hoquet Rally of Morocco
For immediate release
Sunday, September 30th, 2007
AL-ATTIYAH CONFIRMS FINAL PODIUM
PLACE FOR X-RAID TEAM IN MOROCCO
Brazilian Nobre secures solid seventh place in Ouarzazate
Frenchman Chicherit completes final Moroccan stage in fourth place
OUARZAZATE (Morocco): The AlgoDyne Green Power Racing Team duo of Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and French co-driver Alain Guehennec finished third overall in the 2007 Guy Hoquet Rally of Morocco at the wheel of their X-Raid BMW X3CC, after the final 222km loop stage around Ouarzazate on Sunday.
“I was not going to push today,” said Al-Attiyah. “I just wanted to stay ahead of Carlos Sousa and keep third place. But then we had a puncture early in the stage and that meant I had to keep up a faster pace. Then we had a flat tyre again, but managed to hold on to our position at the end.”
French team mates Guerlain Chicherit and Matthieu Baumel recorded the fourth fastest time on the final stage, but they had suffered heavy penalties earlier in the week after electrical problems cost them time on two consecutive special stages. They began the day in 23rd overall, but the time penalties meant they held little chance of improving on this position.
Brazilians Paolo Nobre and Filipe Palmeiro completed the final stage in seventh position to secure an excellent seventh in the overall standings, as they attempt to secure the FIA Cross Country Rallies World Cup title that the X-Raid team won with the UAE’s Khalifa Al-Motaiwei for the first time back in 2004.
The event was won by the South African Giniel de Villiers, who secured victory over Spanish team mate Carlos Sainz on the final stage. Sainz began the day with an eight-second lead over his rival, but lost crucial time over the closing kilometres with two punctures, as De Villiers set the fastest time to record a winning margin of 3m 13s.
Chicherit was the fastest of the three X-Raid crews to the 61km point on the Ouarzazate loop stage and was running as the fourth fastest driver on the stage. Al-Attiyah began the test 5m 45s ahead of fourth-placed Carlos Sousa after sustaining two flat tyres on the fifth stage and the Qatari needed to stay out of trouble to conserve his podium finish.
Sousa had edged into a 4m 25s advantage after just 61km through twisty mountaineous terrain when Al-Attiyah sustained a flat tyre, but Al-Attiyah reduced the gap to 3m 18s at the 117km point and to 2m 51s at PC1 (141km). He eventually completed the event 1m 39s ahead of his Portuguese rival after collecting a second puncture.
“It was a good day for the team and I am delighted with the way everyone performed on the final stage,” said X-Raid team director Sven Quandt. “Nasser again drove a good race. He had two punctures again today, but he was quicker than anyone in between and this proves that we have the pace from the car when we have the reliability with the tyres. Guerlain was also on a good pace today and Paolo confirmed seventh and the top privateer finisher. It was a good week for us and we take away many positives.”
The X-Raid team will continue their build up to the 2008 Dakar Rally with a test and development session near Erfoud in Morocco next week. The Trebur-based team will then enter two or three cars in the forthcoming UAE Desert Challenge, the final round of the 2007 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup, at the end of October.
Guy Hoquet Rally of Morocco 2007 – positions on leg six:
1. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (D) Volkswagen Touareg 3h 04m 58s
2. Carlos Sousa (P)/Andreas Schulz (D) Volkswagen Touareg 3h 05m 02s
3. Carlos Sainz (E)/Michel Perin (F) Volkswagen Touareg 3h 08m 19s
4. Guerlain Chicherit (F)/Matthieu Baumel (F) BMW X3 CC 3h 09m 00s
5. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QA)/Alain Guehennec (F) BMW X3CC 3h 09m 08s
6. Mark Miller (USA)/Ralph Pitchford (ZA) Volkswagen Touareg 3h 11m 04s
7. Paolo Nobre (BR)/Filipe Palmeiro (BR) BMW X3 CC 3h 12m 58s
Guy Hoquet Rally of Morocco 2007 – final overall positions
1. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (D) Volkswagen Touareg 17h 36m 35s
2. Carlos Sainz (E)/Michel Perin (F) Volkswagen Touareg 17h 39m 48s
3. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QA)/Alain Guehennec (F) BMW X3CC 18h 12m 31s
4. Carlos Sousa (P)/Andreas Schulz (D) Volkswagen Touareg 18h 14m 10s
5. Mark Miller (USA)/Ralph Pitchford (ZA) Volkswagen Touareg 19h 00m 07s
6. Dominique Housieaux (F)/Jean-Michel Polato (F) Schlesser Buggy 19h 43m 49s
7. Paolo Nobre (BR)/Filipe Palmeiro (BR) BMW X3 CC 20h 45m 10s
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.