|Sealine Rally Qatar: Overdrive Toyotas hold first, fourth and fifth overall.|
Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Spanish co-driver Lucas Cruz Senra maintained an overall lead of 8min 55sec in the Sealine Cross-Country Rally, as the three Overdrive Racing Toyota Hiluxes reached the finish of the second stage in second, fourth and fifth places to confirm first, fourth and fifth in the overall standings.
“Today the stage was much rougher than yesterday and more difficult,” said Al-Attiyah. “I had a puncture but I am still quite happy because I have a comfortable lead and we have the most difficult stage of the event tomorrow.”
The Argentinean duo of Lucio Alvarez and Ronnie Graue set the fifth fastest time behind Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi, Al-Attiyah, Dubai’s Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei and Toyota colleague Faisal Al-Attiyah. They had two punctures today, which cost them valuable time.
The result means that they now hold an 88-second lead over Al-Attiyah and his French co-driver Matthieu Baumel in the overall rankings. Al-Attiyah, the cousin of Toyota’s rally leader, set the fourth quickest time on the day’s stage.
“For sure it was lot more tricky today as the stage was a lot rougher than yesterday. The teams all produced good results and, most importantly, we are well placed for tomorrow’s stage, which is the longest of the rally. Other than the punctures today, the Toyota Hiluxes have run perfectly so far and a big thanks goes out to our team for the great job,” said Overdrive team director Jean-Marc Fortin.
On Wednesday evening, time penalties were imposed on several leading drivers who had not adhered to the new maximum stage speed limits. Amongst those to receive a one-minute penalty were car leader Al-Attiyah, Faisal Al-Attiyah and Vladimir Vasilyev. This meant that the Qatari’s overall lead over Al-Rajhi had been reduced to 10m 07s at the start of today’s special.
Al-Rajhi was the quickest of the car entrants to the first passage control, but Nasser and Faisal Al-Attiyah were content to reach the checkpoint in second and sixth positions, with Alvarez slotting into fifth in the third of the Overdrive Toyotas.
The Toyota trio reached PC2 in second, fourth and sixth places, with Al-Attiyah maintaining a comfortable overall lead from Al-Rajhi. Both drivers collected a puncture during the course of the stage and the Saudi reached the finish 1min 12sec quicker than his Qatari rival, but Al-Attiyah was content to keep the Overdrive Toyota nearly nine minutes in front in the overall rankings.
The Overdrive Racing Toyotas were built in South Africa in conjunction with Toyota Motorsport South Africa and Hallspeed and are powered by the 4.6-litre V8 engine that conforms to the latest FIA regulations.
Overdrive is based at Villers-le-Bouillet, near Huy in Belgium, and is also receiving support for the Sealine Cross-Country Rally programme from Qatar’s local Toyota importer Abdullah Abdulghani & Bros. Co. (AAB).
On Friday, competitors tackle the longest stage of the entire event - a 357.99km loop through the southern Qatar desert. The first bike will start at a similar time of 06.00hrs, with the leading car joining the competition at 7.15hrs.
The stage starts in the same place, before heading west across the other side of the Salwa Road and then turning south towards Abu Samra and then east towards the Inland Sea. It offers faster and harder tracks, less sand dunes that the first two days and finishes in the same position.
Sealine Cross-Country Rally - Cars results SS2
01) Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA)/Filipe Palmeiro (PRT) Mini All4 Racing I 02:53:27
02) Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Lucas Cruz Senra (ESP) Toyota Hilux I 02:54:39
03) Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei (UAE)/Andreas Schulz (DEU) Mini All4 Racing I 03:03:15
04) Faisal Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) Toyota HiLux I 03:08:40
05) Lucio Alvarez (ARG)/Bernardo Graue (ARG) Toyota Hilux I 03:13:14
06) Jean-Louis Schlesser (FRA)/Zhiltsov (RUS) Schlesser Original I 03:18:56
07) Ilya Kuznetsov (RUS)/Roman Elagin (RUS) BMW X3 CC I 03:23:37
08) Miroslav Zapletal (CZE)/Miloslav Janacek (CZE) BMW X3 CC I 03:24:36
09) Boris Gadasin (RUS)/Dan Shchemel (RUS) G-Force Proto I 03:24:45
10) Patrick Sireyjol (FRA)/Francois-Xavier Beguin (BEL) SMG Buggy I 03:44:19
Sealine Cross-Country Rally - Cars overall results after SS2
01) Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Lucas Cruz Senra (ESP) Toyota Hilux I 06:01:58
02) Yazeed Al-Rajhi (KSA)/Filipe Palmeiro (PRT) Mini All4 Racing I 06:10:53
03) Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei (UAE)/Andreas Schulz (DEU) Mini All4 Racing I 06:30:01
04) Lucio Alvarez (ARG)/Bernardo Graue (ARG) Toyota Hilux I 06:31:23
05) Faisal Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) Toyota HiLux I 06:32:51
06) Jean-Louis Schlesser (FRA)/Zhiltsov (RUS) Schlesser Original I 06:43:50
07) Boris Gadasin (RUS)/Dan Shchemel (RUS) G-Force Proto I 07:06:37
08) Ilya Kuznetsov (RUS)/Roman Elagin (RUS) BMW X3 CC I 07:10:34
09) Miroslav Zapletal (CZE)/Miloslav Janacek (CZE) BMW X3 CC I 07:15:16
10) Al Heli (UAE) / Al Heli (UAE) I Nissan Patrol I 08:38:27
2012/04/19 | 22:06 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/HS/PERKINS