CC Bruno Saby confirms sixth in Central Europe Rally
X-RAID TEAM NEWS
CENTRAL EUROPE RALLY (April 19th-26th, 2008)
Dakar Series, round 1
Leg 7: Veszprém, Hungary - Veszprém, Hungary: connection, 11 km; special, 157 km; connection 35.5km; special, 54 km; connection, 61 km; total, 317 km.
For immediate release
Saturday, April 26th, 2008
X-RAID’S BRUNO SABY CONFIRMS
SIXTH IN CENTRAL EUROPE RALLY
- Encouraging pace shown by X-raid team on tricky new rally
- Spaniard Carlos Sainz clinches outright victory in Hungary
BALATONFÜRED (Hungary): The two surviving AlgoDyne Green Power Racing Team BMW X3 CCs reached the finish of the new Central Europe Rally in sixth and an unofficial 17th position, when the surviving crews arrived at Balatonfüred on the northern shores of Lake Balaton in Hungary on Saturday afternoon.
After seven days’ intense competition across the Hungarian plains and through the rain-sodden and narrow tracks of the Carpathian mountains in northern Romania, Frenchman Bruno Saby and co-driver Alain Guehennec reached the finish in sixth overall for the X-raid team in their Trebur-built BMW X3 CC.
Team mates Guerlain Chicherit and Matthieu Baumel set several competitive stage times during the course of the week, but problems earlier in the event meant that they were unable to challenge for the podium over the closing stages. The event was won by Spaniard Carlos Sainz, who emerged 2m 01s ahead of Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel after a thrilling battle over the last three days.
X-raid’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and co-driver Tina Thörner had been well-placed for a fierce assault on the top three during the middle of the rally, but an unfortunate crank sensor problem forced the Qatari out of the running, just as he looked like pressing home his challenge for the overall lead. The defending FIA Middle East rally champion had, once again, showed the competitiveness of the BMW X3 CC at the highest level of international cross-country rallying.
“Considering there were not a lot of kilometres on this event, it gave problems to all the top teams and was a useful test for everyone,” said X-raid Director Sven Quandt. “It felt like we had done a rally maybe two or three times the distance. This event proved that Nasser has the pace to beat the very best and we have a car that is very competitive.
“It also showed to us that on the major component side, with the suspension, the engine and the transmission, we have a potent package. Now we need to work a little on some of the smaller reliability issues. We had a couple of minor electrical problems and we will need to improve the wipers, because we will face water splashes on the Dakar Rally next January in South America. All in all it was a very encouraging event for the team.”
Today’s final stage of the new Dakar Series event was a potentially treacherous 157km run over terrain to the north east of the lake, which included several wooded sections.
Chicherit and Saby began the section in seventh and ninth positions on the road and sixth and 19th overall, but Sainz was ahead of Peterhansel by 1m 17s at the first passage control and on course for victory. Chicerit and Saby were running in seventh and ninth positions on the stage and went on to finish the final special in seventh and 10th places to end a week of mixed fortunes for the AlgoDyne Green Racing Team.
2008 Central Europe Rally – positions on SS7 (unofficial):
1. Carlos Sainz (E)/Michel Perin (F) Volkswagen Touareg 1h 37m 31s
2. Dieter Depping (D)/Timo Gottschalk (D) Volkswagen Touareg 1h 37m 58s
3. Luc Alphand (F)/Gilles Picard (F) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 1h 38m 45s
4. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 1h 39m 14s
5. BJ Baldwin (USA)/Kevin Heath (USA) Hummer 1h 40m 22s
6. Joan Roma (E)/Lucas Cruz (E) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 1h 41m 20s
7. Guerlain Chicherit (F)/Matthieu Baumel (F) BMW X3 CC 1h 41m 49s
8. Robby Gordon (USA)/Andy Grider (USA) Hummer 1h 41m 56s
9. Carlos Sousa (P)/Andreas Schulz (D) Volkswagen Touareg 1h 41m 59s
10. Bruno Saby (F)/Alain Guehennec (F) BMW X3 CC 1h 43m 57s
2008 Central Europe Rally – overall positions after leg 7 (unofficial):
1. Carlos Sainz (E)/Michel Perin (F) Volkswagen Touareg 11h 18m 37s
2. Stéphane Peterhansel (F)/Jean-Paul Cottret (F) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 11h 20m 09s
3. Dieter Depping (D)/Timo Gottschalk (D) Volkswagen Touareg 11h 24m 42s
4. Luc Alphand (F)/Gilles Picard (F) Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution 11h 25m 36s
5. Carlos Sousa (P)/Andreas Schulz (D) Volkswagen Touareg 11h 51m 53s
6. Bruno Saby (F)/Alain Guehennec (F) BMW X3 CC 12h 04m 38s
7. BJ Baldwin (USA)/Kevin Heath (USA) Hummer 12h 14m 10s
17. Guerlain Chicherit (F)/Matthieu Baumel (F) BMW X3 CC 14h 07m 50s
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: email@example.com.