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Dakar 2007: Qatar´s Al Attiyah 12th fastest into Tambacounda.

Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and French co-driver Alain Guehennec headed across the border into Senegal in fourth position this morning and were 12th fastest on the 260km special stage between Kayes and Tambacounda after losing time with minor transmission problems. The Qatari retained fourth position in the overall classification subject to an appeal over a speeding penalty that will be heard at a later date, and is now 30m 58s behind third-placed Jean-Louis Schlesser.

"We lost gears on the stage and had to make do with what we had," said Al-Attiyah. "But we were very lucky. The gearbox in this car is very strong and we were able o continue. In some cars I am sure we would have had big problems." The gearbox as changed at the bivouac. German Kleinschmidt and Swedish co-driver Tina Thörner were the 11th crew on the stage this morning and held 15th in the overall standings in the second BMW X3CC. They set the 20th fastest time and retained 15th place.

Spaniard José-Luis Monterde and Jean-Marie Lurquin reaches the stage start, 16th on the road and in 17th position overall. They moved up a place to 16th overall. "It was a dangerous stage," said Monterde. "Dust, narrow roads, trees. It was easy to make a mistake." Brazilian Paulo Nobre and co-driver Filipe Palmeiro were the 21st car into the stage to Tambacounda and held 40th overall in their BMW X5. They set the 37th fastest time.

Saturday marks the last of the traditional African special stages - a 225km section between Tambacounda and Dakar in Senegal. The section starts 124km to the west of Tambacounda at the town of Koumpentoum. The route heads towards Velingara and finishes near Mbake, before the final road liaison section towards the Atlantic coast and the X-Raid Team’s arrival in Dakar.

2007/01/19 | 17:13 CET | Editor: MR/X-Raid

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