CC Three BMW X3CCs set for Central Europe Rally


CENTRAL EUROPE RALLY (April 19th-26th, 2008)


For immediate release

Thursday, March 13th, 2008






Al-Attiyah, Saby and Chicherit set for new X-raid challenge

Thörner, Guehennec and Baumel set for co-driving duties

TREBUR (Germany): The.AlgoDyne Green Power Racing Team has entered three diesel-engined BMW X3CCs in the Central Europe Rally, a new cross-country event being organised by the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) under the new ‘Dakar Series’ banner on April 20th-26th, 2008.


The event between Hungary and Romania was created to fill the void left by the cancellation of the 2008 Dakar Rally and has also attracted both the official Volkswagen and Mitsubishi factory teams.


Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and the French duo of Bruno Saby and Guerlain Chicherit will line-up alongside their respective co-drivers Tina Thörner, Alain Guehennec and Matthieu Baumel in the three Dakar-specification X3CCs, which have been prepared at Trebur, near Frankfurt, in Germany.


The event will take place over seven days and a total route of 3,061kms, of which 1,570km will be competitive between the start in Budapest on Sunday, April 20th and the finish on the shores of the picturesque Lake Balaton on Saturday, April 26th. There will be overnight halts and varied selective sections, often across hilly and undulating terrain, between Baia Mare, Sovata, Debrecen, Veszprem and Balaton during the course of the seven days.


The AlgoDyne Green Power Racing/X-raid Team is looking forward to a full programme of events this season with the competitive BMW X3CC. Doha-based Al-Attiyah began the year by teaming up with Baumel to give the BMW X3CC its first international win at the Hail Baja Rally in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia last month. The event was the opening round of the 2008 FIA International Cup for Bajas and the X-raid Team now lead the championship.


The Qatari will tackle the Italian Baja - round two of the FIA Baja series - this weekend and then his second round of the FIA Production World Rally Championship in Argentina before beginning his preparations for the Central Europe Rally, although he will rekindle his partnership with Swedish co-driver Thörner on the Baja and Cross-Country events.


Baumel has also been busy gaining desert experience in recent weeks. Prior to rejoining Chicherit for the European event, Baumel finished third in the Qatar International Rally in January with local driver Khalifa Saleh Al-Attiyah and has also taken part in a recent FIA special stage event in Kuwait.


Grenoble-based Saby and co-driver Guehennec will be tackling their first competitive event since retiring prematurely from the UAE Desert Challenge last November. But the 1993 Dakar Rally winner is relishing the prospect of lining up against the likes of Spaniard Carlos Sainz, South African Giniel de Villiers and the French duo of Luc Alphand and Stéphane Peterhansel when action gets underway on April 20th.


“The X-raid team made a fantastic start to the season with victory in Saudi Arabia last month,” admitted team director Sven Quandt. “The car had shown its potential in the Middle East last November, when Nasser set several fastest times, but the pleasing thing about the win in Saudi was that we didn’t have to put a spanner on the car over the three days.


“The Central Europe Rally will be a totally different challenge. The stages will be twisty and more technical, outside temperatures will be much cooler and there will be a fair chance of mud and difficult rocky surfaces. This is a new event and every team will be in the same boat, as far as not knowing what to expect.


“We are feeling confident and looking forward to lining up against the other factory teams for the first time this season and supporting this new event in the ‘Dakar Series’.




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: 13/03/2008

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