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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´s Bruno Saby confirms sixth in 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.

2008/04/26 | 13:01 CET | Editor: MR/HS/X-Raid

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