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UAE Desert Challenge 2008 Special-Newssection (FIA Cross Country Worldcup)





This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com special of the UAE Desert Challenge 2008, 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 romps into emphatic Lead in the UAE.





Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Swedish co-driver Tina Thörner romped into an emphatic 18m 11s lead after the opening 281.05km desert selective section of the 2008 UAE Desert Challenge on Monday afternoon. The AlgoDyne Green Racing Team duo led from start to finish in their new prototype BMW X3 CC and managed to pull well clear of their second-placed Russian team mates Leonid Novitskiy and Oleg Tyupenkin, as the X-raid team took control of one of the world’s most difficult endurance rallies.

X-raid’s potent new X3 CC sports better weight distribution, improved handling and an innovative double roof to improve airflow and cooling for the rear axle and differentials. Team director Sven Quandt was delighted with the start that both drivers had made.

"Obviously we are pleased to be first and second and so far in front of the others, but the objective of this rally is to test the new components in extreme weather conditions and over desert terrain," said Sven Quandt. "We have introduced some lighter components to bring the car closer to the 1900kg level and have been very pleased with today’s progress. I just hope we can have more of the same over the next few days."

The leading X-raid duo left the start at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi in first and third places in the car category on the 53.29km liaison section and strategically positioned to mount a serious assault at the first desert stage.

Al-Attiyah romped through the first 87.63km passage control in just over 36 minutes. The Qatari was nearly five minutes in front of the fastest bike and had already edged into a 2m 02s lead over his pursuing team mate. He maintained his clean run through PC2 at 152.95km and began to push further away from second-placed Novitskiy, as the pair of BMW X3 CCs became the class of the field. Al-Attiyah was seven minutes clear of Novitskiy at the PC3 (179.59km) point and as much again ahead of Poland’s Krzysztof Holowczyc heading into the final 102 km.

Al-Attiyah eventually finished the stage 18 minutes clear of his rivals, with Holowczyc a distant third in a powerful Nissan Navara. "It’s been a fantastic start for us," admitted Al-Attiyah. "The car feels superb. I have a good lead, but there is a long way to go to the finish."

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is one of the most difficult sections of the UAE Desert Challenge, although it is the shortest leg of the event. A liaison section of 81.15km will take teams to the start of a 236.75km selective section through the remote Rub Al-Khali and wind its way back to finish adjacent to the Moreeb Hill bivouac. There will be four passage controls at the 70.30km, 131.90km, 160.80km and 229km points in a total route of 377.90km.

Positions on leg 1 (unofficial @ 4pm):

01. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QA)/Tina Thörner (S) BMW X3 CC 2h 27m 15s
02. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS)/Oleg Tyupenkin (RUS) BMW X3 CC 2h 45m 12s
03. Krzysztof Holowczyc (PL)/Jean-Marc Fortin (B) Nissan Navara 2h 55m 14s
04. Yayha Al-Helai (UAE)/Khalid Al-Kendi (UAE) Nissan Patrol 3h 01m 57s
05. Glen Reid (UAE)/Haydn Walker (UAE) Nissan 3h 07m 10s
06. Laurent Rosso (F)/Fabian Lurquin (B) Nissan Pathfinder 3h 10m 57s
07. Jun Mitsuhashi (J)/Akira Muira (J) Toyota Land Cruiser 3h 13m 38s
08. Par Wallentheim (S)/Dan-Olov Ohlsson (S) Isuzu D-Max 3h 17m 43s

Positions after leg 1 (unofficial @ 4pm):

01. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QA)/Tina Thörner (S) BMW X3 CC 2h 29m 29s
02. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS)/Oleg Tyupenkin (RUS) BMW X3 CC 2h 47m 40s
03. Krzysztof Holowczyc (PL)/Jean-Marc Fortin (B) Nissan Navara 2h 57m 30s
04. Yayha Al-Helai (UAE)/Khalid Al-Kendi (UAE) Nissan Patrol 3h 03m 51s
05. Glen Reid (UAE)/Haydn Walker (UAE) Nissan 3h 09m 54s
06. Laurent Rosso (F)/Fabian Lurquin (B) Nissan Pathfinder 3h 13m 48s
07. Jun Mitsuhashi (J)/Akira Muira (J) Toyota Land Cruiser 3h 16m 15s
08. Par Wallentheim (S)/Dan-Olov Ohlsson (S) Isuzu D-Max 3h 20m 27s

2008/10/25 | 16:09 CET | Editor: MR/HS/X-Raid






















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