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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 crews hold 11th, 13th and 16th overall.

The AlgoDyne Green Power Racing Team held 11th, 13th and 16th positions in the new Central Europe Rally after the opening 63km selective section to the east of Budapest in Hungary on Sunday. Spaniard Carlos Sainz and French co-driver Michel Périn held the outright lead with a fastest time of 39m 56s, as teams taking part in the first event in the new Dakar Series headed across the border into Romania for the long road section to Baia Mare on Sunday evening. American Robby Gordon and co-driver Andy Grider were second overall.

The French duo of Guerlain Chcherit and Matthieu Baumel were the first of the X-raid crews in 11th place in their Trebur-built BMW X3CC, with Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Swedish co-driver Tina Thörner 1m 09s behind in 13th overall. Bruno Saby and Alain Guehennec held 16th position in the third X3CC.

In dry and dusty conditions, the stage was narrow, twisty and bumpy in places and ideally suited to the nimble Buggy-type cars, but the X-raid team is well in touch and will analyse the strategy for the remaining days on Sunday evening in Baia Mare. Leading cars left the start at three-minute intervals and Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel was the first driver to the opening passage control, although Sainz held the early advantage with a fastest time of 21m 13s at the split, closely followed by Gordon in 21m 38s.

Al-Attiyah punctured and dropped four minutes to the leading Spaniard and crossed the PC in 25m 14s in his BMW X3CC. Chicherit held 12th position at the opening control in 22m 58s, with Saby down in 18th place and Al-Attiyah pushed down to 21st. "It was a narrow, twisty stage with several bumpy sections that really favoured the Buggy-type cars," said X-raid team director Sven Quandt.

"That was one of the reasons Robby Gordon was so fast in the Hummer. Nasser had a puncture before the first PC, but he set a very encouraging split on the second section and that bodes well for the next stage. Guerlain complained that it was difficult to pass in the dusty conditions, but we are still in a good position and will discuss our tactics later this evening for the next stage. It is very tight among the leading drivers and there is still a long way to go."

2008/04/21 | 10:21 CET | Editor: MR/HS/X-Raid

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