Al Attiyah extends advantage with second stage win | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Al Attiyah extends advantage with second stage win

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Saturday’s second longest desert stage across some of the most remote areas of the State of Qatar has shuffled the pack, but Nasser Al Attiyah continues to head the field with Jakub Przygonski climbing to second overall.

Nasser Al Attiyah has extended his advantage to over eight minutes after the second leg of the Qatar Cross Country Rally, the opening round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies. The Qatari and French co-driver Matthieu Baumel won the day’s stage by 3’32” and now head reigning champion Jakub Przygonski, who has climbed from fourth to second ahead of third-placed Yazeed Al Rajhi.

The first of the long desert stages took the crews 70 kilometres north of Lusail for the start of the 323.58 kilometre stage, which then headed back south, hugging the western coastline of the State before moving back inland to the finish. Starting first on the road, courtesy of winning yesterday’s stage, Al Attiyah dropped time to Przygonski at the first Passage Control, 164 kilometres into the section, when he stopped to change a puncture. He regained his advantage and from 220 kilometres onwards was never headed. “It was a good day even though it was difficult to open the road, but we had no technical problems,” said Al Attiyah. “The navigation was hard, but we maintained a good pace.”

Starting fourth, Przygonski had the advantage of seeing the tracks of the crews in front and capitalised in the opening section. After dropping a couple of minutes to Al Attiyah in the middle of the stage, the Pole then lost nearly eight minutes between the final Passage Control and the finish, firstly with a puncture and then getting caught in dust from Yazeed Al Rajhi’s car, the pair only just over a minute apart at the finish. He was nevertheless second fastest through the stage.

Al Rajhi maintains his third position with third fastest time, but he was another victim of the rough and rocky conditions and picked up two punctures. The Saudi Arabian fared far better than Toyota team-mate Bernhard Ten Brinke however, who was stranded in the section having broken the steering arm and sustained three punctures while only carrying two spares. He has dropped to 11th.

Vladimir Vasilyev has moved up to fourth courtesy of Ten Brinke’s problems. He also collected three punctures, one at the end of the stage, and was then stuck behind Eugenio Amos unable to pass and running in his dust. Amos has also climbed a position to fifth. The Italian confessed it had been the most difficult stage of his life where you could lose yourself every 100 metres. Very unusually for the Ford 2WD Buggy, he also had two tyres delaminate.

Yasir Hamad Seaidan is sixth in the X-raid Mini and was happy with his day, despite two punctures over the long and fast desert section. Miroslav Zapletal has catapulted himself up the leaderboard from 11th last night to seventh, even though he damaged a wheel on the stony tracks and lost time with a couple of navigation problems. Reinaldo Marques Varela has climbed two places into eighth, despite three flat tyres, to lead the T3 category in his Can-Am Maverick. Former category front-runner, Qatar’s Mohammed Al Attiyah, lost the lead for the same reason and overnights 10th. Oman’s Abdullah Al Zubair sandwiches the two in ninth, another driver blighted by punctures.

Sunday’s third selective section is the longest of the event at 351.58 competitive kilometres.

Qatar Cross Country Rally – Provisional classification after Leg 2 (16:00 hrs local)


Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel

Toyota Hilux

3hr 45min 09sec


Jakub Przygonski/Timo Gottschalk

John Cooper Works Rally

3hr 53min 12sec


Yazeed Mohammed Al-Rajhi/Dirk Von Zitzewitz

Toyota Hilux Overdrive

3hr 53min 50sec


Vladimir Vasilyev/Konstantin Zhiltsov


4hr 01min 04sec


Eugenio Amos/Sebastian Delaunay

Ford 2WD Buggy

4hr 22min 33sec


Yasir Hamad Seaidan/Laurent Lichtleuchter

X-raid Mini

4hr 23min 29sec


Miroslav Zapletal/ Marek Sykora

F150 Evo

4hr 51min 28sec


Reinaldo Marques Varela/Gustavo Souza Gugelmin

Can-Am Maverick

5hr 26min 09sec


Abdullah Al Zubair/Nasser Saadon Al-Kuwari

Can-Am Maverick

5hr 26min 31sec


Mohammed Al Attiyah/Sergio Lafuente

Can-Am Maverick

5hr 42min 08sec


Reinaldo Marques Varela leads T3 after Leg 2