|Sealine Rally Qatar: Toyota´s Al Attiyah 1 leads, Al Attiyah 2 rolled in SS3.|
Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Spanish co-driver Lucas Cruz Senra were in superb form to seal a stunning victory in the third special stage of the 2012 Sealine Cross-Country Rally, round three of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, on Friday.
The duo will now start the final special stage on Saturday morning with a comfortable overall advantage of 46 min 09 sec over their second-placed Argentinean team-mates, Lucio Alvarez and Ronnie Graue, in a second Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux.
"It was a very technical and difficult stage but it was enjoyable and the result has put me in a very good position now," said Al-Attiyah.
Alvarez suffered a puncture and still finished the stage in third position behind Frenchman Jean-Louis Schlesser and will now start the final stage 48 seconds in front of the UAE’s Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei.
Faisal Al-Attiya and French navigator Matthieu Baumel rolled the third Overdrive Toyota and still managed to reach the stage finish in eighth position and slipped to fifth in the overall standings.
"I had a puncture and then stopped to check that Faisal and Matthieu were okay after their roll, but I am happy with our performance today, " admitted Alvarez.
Overdrive Racing is aiming to take its biggest outright victory to date and its first with a Toyota on a long-distance round of the FIA World Cup.
"Today, Nasser and Lucas once again showed their skill and really showed the performance of the Toyota Hilux," said Overdrive team director Jean-Marc Fortin. "They had two flat tyres on the stage but brought the Hilux home without any problems. Lucio and Ronnie had another good day and showed that Overdrive is a tight knit team when they stopped to help Faisal and Matthieu who had rolled.
"I am glad that Faisal and Matthieu are okay and accidents are part of racing and the learning curve. The mechanics will have a bit of work but the car will be at the start tomorrow morning."
The three Overdrive Toyotas began the penultimate stage from first, ninth and tenth positions on the road. Priority was given to championship drivers and Faisal Al-Attiya and Alvarez had to follow all their main rivals into the special. A strong wind was blowing across Qatar’s southern desert and low-lying dust was not going to be a problem for the cars running behind on the stage.
Al-Attiyah reached the motorcycle refuelling point well clear of his nearest rival, but Yazeed Al-Rajhi was mounting a fierce charge from the middle of the field and was quicker than the Qatari to the checkpoint, although the Saudi lost time soon afterwards with a flat tyre and navigational issues.
Alvarez was sixth quickest to PC2 and Faisal Al-Attiya reached the control point in 11th position at the wheel of the third Overdrive Toyota after dropping over 20 minutes earlier in the special following a gentle roll.
There was no stopping Al-Attiyah in the flying Hilux and he reached PC3 just under 13 minutes clear of his nearest challenger, team-mate Lucio Alvarez, who benefited from others’ problems to hold a virtual second fastest time.
With Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi rolling out of contention, Al-Attiyah reached the stage finish 15min 46sec in front of Schlesser to give himself a comfortable lead to take into the final day.
Sealine Cross-Country Rally - Cars results SS3
01) Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Lucas Cruz Senra (ESP) I Toyota Hilux I 03:25:40
02) Jean-Louis Schlesser (FRA)/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) I Schlesser I 03:41:26
03) Lucio Alvarez (ARG)/Bernardo Graue (ARG) I Toyota Hilux I 03:42:24
04) Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei (UAE)/Andreas Schulz (DEU) I Mini All4 Racing I 03:44:34
05) Boris Gadasin (RUS)/Dan Shchemel (RUS) I G-Force Proto I 03:59:20
06) Patrick Sireyjol (FRA)/Francois-Xavier Beguin (BEL) I SMG Buggy I 04:06:38
07) Ilya Kuznetsov (RUS)/Roman Elagin (RUS) I BMW X3 CC I 04:08:42
08) Faisal Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) I Toyota HiLux I 04:11:57
09) Reinaldo Varela (BR)/Gustavo Gugelmin (BR) I Nissan Patrol T2 I 04:55:00
10) Vadym Nesterchuk (UKR)/Laurent Lichtleuchter (F) I Toyota LC T2 I 05:06:45
Sealine Cross-Country Rally - Cars overall results after SS3
01) Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Lucas Cruz Senra (ESP) I Toyota Hilux I 09:27:38
02) Lucio Alvarez (ARG)/Bernardo Graue (ARG) I Toyota Hilux I 10:13:47
03) Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei (UAE)/Andreas Schulz (DEU) I Mini All4 Racing I 10:14:35
04) Jean-Louis Schlesser (FRA)/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) I Schlesser Original I 10:25:16
05) Faisal Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) I Toyota HiLux I 10:44:48
06) Boris Gadasin (RUS)/Dan Shchemel (RUS) I G-Force Proto I 11:05:57
07) Ilya Kusnetsov (RUS)/Roman Elagin (RUS) I BMW X3 CC I 11:19:16
08) Yahya Al Helli (ARE)/Khalid Al Kendi (ARE) I Nissan Patrol T2 I 13:53:43
09) Reinaldo Varela (BR)/Gustavo Gugelmin (BR) I Nissan Patrol T2 I 14:17:08
10) Vadym Nesterchuk (UKR)/Laurent Lichtleuchter (F) I Toyota LC T2 I 17:53:03
View all results: timing.sporttraxx.com/races/
2012/04/17 | 18:12 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/HS/QUANDT