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Central Europe Rally Special-Newssection (1st round Dakar-Series 2008)

This is the single-news section of the special of the Central Europe Rally 2008, the first round of the new Dakar-Series. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Central Europe Rally: X-Raid BMW enters three BMW X3CC in CER.

The X-Raid BMW "AlgoDyne Green Power Racing Team" has entered three diesel-engined BMW X3CCs in the Central Europe Rally from April 20th-26th 2008. 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.

X-Raid 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.

The French Matthieu Baumel has also been busy gaining desert experience in recent weeks. Prior to rejoining Guerlain 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 Bruno Saby and co-driver Alain 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."

2008/03/13 | 20:47 CET | Editor: MR/HS/X-Raid

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