|SA-Dakar 2012: Nasser Al Attiyah - "Maybe a Dakar start 2012 is impossible".|
The X-raid team makes him a "Top 10" driver in the Dakar Rally - then with Volkwagen in 2011 the Qatari Nasser Al Attiyah fulfiled his dream and won the "Southamerica Dakar", together with his German navigator Timo Gottschalk. In 2012 he want to defend his title, but Volkswagen stopped the Dakar engagement. Now the Qatari has simply no car to continue his dream.
There were rumours about a private Volkswagen Team (demented by VW) or a start with South Africa Toyota (like Giniel de Villiers). And even his former team X-raid (BMW, Mini) from Germany demented a start of Al Attiyah. Other rumours said, that X-raid would give him a car - but only if the Qatari would finance it. No question, the BMW/Mini crew is actually defending the FIA World Cup - and has "enough" customers for the Dakar.
Now Al Attiyah gave an interview for the magazine [ www.maxrally.com ] and there´s a new option: Al Attiyah is to meet Jean-Louis Schlesser to discuss the possibility of running a Schlesser Buggy in January.
"Reliability is the most important thing on the Dakar and I’m not so sure about the reliability of the Mini because it is new," said Al Attiyah. "Then, as it is the same team, you have the same parts on the BMW. Volkswagen is a definite no, but the Schlesser Buggy could be interesting."
Al Attiyah also admits to the magazine, that there is at risk of running out of time. "It’s not looking so great at the moment," he said. "I would love to do the Dakar but at the moment I have nothing agreed so maybe it is impossible."
The Qatari is concentrating on his career in the cars-rally sport. As next race, he will start the Cyprus Golden Stage Rally on November 6th determined to claim the victory that eluded him when the event took place for the first time last season. "Last year we just lose the first position and finish second," said Al-Attiyah. "It’s a great idea, one stage used twice. Everybody will be there and it will be an interesting rally."
2011/10/28 | 16:24 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/HS/MAXRALLY.COM