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Morocco Rally: Three X-Raid BMW X3CC start at Marathon Worldcup round.

Shocked by the news of the tragic death of X-raid newcomer Colin McRae, who lost his life in a helicopter crash near his home in Scotland at the end of last week, the members of the newly formed AlgoDyne Green Power Racing Teams of X-raid have found it hard to concentrate on the 30th anniversary of the Dakar Rally in January 2008.

"We were extremely saddened by the cruel twist of fate that tore Colin McRae and his son Johnny from the heart of his family and we would like to take this opportunity to express our deepest sympathy with Colin's family and friends. Colin was an outstanding sportsman and a huge personality whose death leaves an enormous gap not only in our team. We are proud to have had the opportunity of working with him", said X-raid team boss Sven Quandt.

Preparations for the Dakar Rally are now at full throttle again, with three cars en route to the Worldcup event in Morocco. "We're well placed and on schedule," is the confident judgment of X-raid team boss Sven Quandt, "We're more than satisfied with our early form." The late Colin McRae underlined this impressively at the Baja Spain, where along with his Swedish co-driver Tina Thörner the former World Rally champion not only battled the Mitsubishi works team led by Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel, but also achieved two stage victories in the enhanced X-raid BMW X3 CC.

The experienced Dakar drivers, Guerlain Chicherit and Nasser Al-Atthiyah, will now be travelling to the Morocco Rally, the fourth of five rounds of the Marathon Worldcup, from 24th to 30th September 2007. "It's the perfect choice, as the routes and conditions are similar to the Marathon highlight. We also have to cover almost 2,300 kilometres over six 1-day stages - it's ideal for sharpening the senses before the major highlight of the Marathon," says young rally talent Chicherit. The several times world extreme skiing champion shares the cockpit as before with his French compatriot, Matthieu Baumel. Taking his place behind the wheel of another X-raid BMW on the AlgoDyne Green Power Racing Team in Morocco is current production car world rally champion Nasser Al-Attiyah from Qatar. "This event is ideal for getting an early fix on our position. We're up against tough competition, but after that we'll still have enough time to evaluate and put into practice the experience we gain of the competition," says Al-Attiyah, who once again is relying on the navigation skills of his regular co-driver, Alain Guehennec of France.

Just a few weeks after their sortie at round three of the Marathon Worldcup in South America, the "Por las Pampas" Rally, X-raid's private duo, Paulo Nobre/Filipe Pameiro, are also set to start in Morocco. A similar result would give the nippy Brazilians - fifth in Morocco the previous year and best-placed diesel behind two works cars from Volkswagen - another chance to scoop the Worldcup overall. An X-raid driver took the Marathon rally sport crown for the first time in 2004 with Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei in the BMW X5, thereby securing a first title win with a diesel vehicle.

The Morocco Rally takes place over six 1-day stages from 24th to 30th September over a total of 2,299 kilometres, of which more than half (1,730 km) is a timed section. Expected to line up alongside X-raid's AlgoDyne Green Power Racing Team with Guerlain Chicherit/Matthieu Baumel and Nasser Al-Atthiyah/Alain Guehennec as well as a third X-raid BMW X3 CC with Paulo Nobre/Filipe Pameiro, is the Volkswagen works team.

2007/09/17 | 16:38 CET | Editor: MR/HS/X-Raid

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