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UAE Desert Challenge 2007 Special-Newssection (FIA Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the UAE Desert Challenge 2007, last round of the FIA Worldcup for Cross Country Rallys. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

UAE Desert Challenge: Al Attiyah and Chicherit takes first and second

The AlgoDyne Green Power Racing Team will begin the first desert selective section of the 2007 UAE Desert Challenge in first, second and fifth positions after the short opening 'super special' stage at Umm Suqueim, near Dubai, on Sunday afternoon. The traditional curtain-raiser to the final round of the 2007 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup attracted a customary large crowd and the trio of X-Raid BMW X3CCs were in superb form.

Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and his Swedish co-driver Tina Thörner led the way for the X-Raid Team in a potent time of 1m 47.15s, albeit only 0.25 seconds faster than French team mates Guerlain Chicherit and Matthieu Baumel. Bruno Saby'a first taste of X-Raid competition with fellow countryman Alain Guehennec netted him fifth position in a time of 1m 51.97s, behind the third and fourth-placed Mitsubishis of Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel and defending UAE Desert Challenge champion Luc Alphand. Privateers Paolo Nobre and Filipe Palmeiro finished seventh overall in the super special, as they chase a maiden FIA World Cup title.

"It is a very good start for us," said X-Raid team director Sven Quandt. "Our drivers were not pushing, but the stage suited us very well. Now Nasser and Guerlain will lead the way into the first desert stage tomorrow. I am happy with this situation. We will take no risks on the first day and then address the strategy on Monday night in the bivouac."

Today cars head to the ceremonial start at the luxurious Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi from 09.30hrs, before a 53.20km liaison section takes teams to the beginning of the first desert selective section.

This 272.50 kilometres off-road special will have passage controls at 91.90km, 159.70km and 22.20km and finishes at Al Dafra, around 118km from the overnight bivouac at Moreeb, under the shadow of a giant sand dune. The stage features several fast gatch tracks, Bedouin trails and some tricky sandy sections, although it is merely a dress rehearsal for more difficult desert terrain later in the week. The event finishes at the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) on Friday, November 2nd.

2007/10/29 | 13:57 CET | Editor: MR/HS/X-Raid

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