CC Al Attiyah and Chicherit take control in UAE Desert Challenge
2007 FIA CROSS-COUNTRY RALLY WORLD CUP
UAE DESERT CHALLENGE (October 28th-November 2nd), round 5 of 5
For immediate release
Sunday, October 28th, 2007
AL-ATTIYAH AND CHICHERIT TAKE FIRST AND SECOND
IN OPENING UAE DESERT CHALLENGE SUPER SPECIAL
X-Raid team in command through opening super specia
Saby in fifth; Brazilian Paolo Nobre holds seventh place
DUBAI (UAE): The AlgoDyne Green Power Racing Team will begin the first desert selective section of the 2007 UAE Desert Challenge in first, second and fifth positions after the short opening ‘super special’ stage at Umm Suqueim, near Dubai, on Sunday afternoon.
The traditional curtain-raiser to the final round of the 2007 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup attracted a customary large crowd and the trio of X-Raid BMW X3CCs were in superb form.
Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and his Swedish co-driver Tina Thörner led the way for the X-Raid Team in a potent time of 1m 47.15s, albeit only 0.25 seconds faster than French team mates Guerlain Chicherit and Matthieu Baumel.
Bruno Saby’a first taste of X-Raid competition with fellow countryman Alain Guehennec netted him fifth position in a time of 1m 51.97s, behind the third and fourth-placed Mitsubishis of Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel and defending UAE Desert Challenge champion Luc Alphand.
Privateers Paolo Nobre and Filipe Palmeiro finished seventh overall in the super special, as they chase a maiden FIA World Cup title.
“It is a very good start for us,” said X-Raid team director Sven Quandt. “Our drivers were not pushing, but the stage suited us very well. Now Nasser and Guerlain will lead the way into the first desert stage tomorrow. I am happy with this situation. We will take no risks on the first day and then address the strategy on Monday night in the bivouac.”
Tomorrow (Monday) cars head to the ceremonial start at the luxurious Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi from 09.30hrs, before a 53.20km liaison section takes teams to the beginning of the first desert selective section.
This 272.50km off-road special will have passage controls at 91.90km, 159.70km and 22.20km and finishes at Al Dafra, around 118km from the overnight bivouac at Moreeb, under the shadow of a giant sand dune. The stage features several fast gatch tracks, Bedouin trails and some tricky sandy sections, although it is merely a dress rehearsal for more difficult desert terrain later in the week.
The event finishes at the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) on Friday, November 2nd.
2007 UAE Desert Challenge –positions after super special (unofficial):
1. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QA)/Tina Thörner (S) BMW X3CC 1m 47.15s
2 Guerlain Chicherit (F)/Matthieu Baumel (F) BMW X3CC 1m 47.40s
3. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero 1m 49.84s
4. Luc Alphand (F)/Gilles Picard (F) Mitsubishi Pajero 1m 50.56s
5. Bruno Saby (F)/Alain Guehennec (F) BMW X3 CC 1m 51.97s
6. Joan ‘Nani’ Roma (E)/Lucas Cruz (E) Mitsubishi Pajero 1m 51.99s
7. Paolo Nobre (BR)/Filipe Palmeiro (BR) BMW X3CC 1m 52.78s
8. Carlos Sainz (E)/Michel Perin (F) Volkswagen Touareg 1m 53.40s
9. Giniel de Villiers (ZA)/Dirk von Zitzewitz (D) Volkswagen Touareg 1m 53.65s
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.