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Cross Country – Three from three for Al-Attiyah/Baumel

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Qatar Cross Country Rally - Leg 3

After racking up their third consecutive stage win of the Qatar Cross Country Rally, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel continue to dominate the event at the end of the third day of competition in the desert land of the State. The Qatari, who is chasing a seventh win on his home round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies, led today’s section from start to finish and the Toyota Hilux crew now head the rally by one hour, 21 minutes and 18 seconds. Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Michael Orr have climbed back into second position and Jakub Przygonski and Timo Gottschalk enjoyed a much better day in the third Hilux to jump into third overall.

Al-Attiyah started the day with more than an hour in hand and powered through the 340.28 competitive kilometre section to further extend his commanding advantage. “We did a good job from start to finish,” said Al-Attiyah. “We were careful in places to find the road, especially with today’s wind, but I’m happy and things are looking good at the moment. We will now manage our pace.”

After losing time yesterday with a power steering problem, Al Rajhi and Orr posted the third fastest time to climb back to second overall, despite two punctures and an incident with the Can-Am T3 car of Austin Jones which resulted in a coming together.

Przygonski and Gottschalk dropped two hours yesterday but the Polish/German pairing bounced back today, claiming second fastest time with a consistent performance throughout the section. They have rocketed from seventh to third after a trouble-free day in their first competitive outing in the Hilux. “Today was a good stage and we got back to our proper rhythm,” said the 2018 Qatar Cross Country Rally winner. “It was quite soft and sandy, with some camel grass, but we enjoyed it even though the navigation was complicated, like always. We are now getting used to the car and will try to carry on like today.”

Khalid Al Mohannadi and Sébastien Delaunay have now moved back into fourth position and retake the lead in the T3 category. “We had a late scare with the [drive] belt and had to slow to the finish,” said the Polaris driver. The Qatari crew of Ahmed Al-Kuwari and Manuel Lucchese have maintained their fifth position and are nearly seven and a half minutes adrift of Al Mohannadi but holding second in the category in their Can-Am Maverick X3. “A fantastic stage, loved it,” said Al-Kuwari, the T3 winner of the section. “We did well on this day last year and it was very similar to this. The third day has always been our best day; we always seem to pick up towards the end.”

Saleh Alsaif and Ali Hassan Obaid round out the top six with Fedor Vorobyev/Kirill Shubin - runners up in last year’s T3 championship - moving into seventh position. After the coming together with Al Rajhi, Austin Jones and Gustavo Gugelmin - yesterday’s leaders in T3 - facilitated emergency repairs with ratchet straps with a resultant loss of 45 minutes. They got going but eventually stopped again close to the finish of the stage.

Tomorrow the crews tackle two selective sections of 219.79 and 124.84 kilometres respectively.

Manateq Qatar Cross Country Rally - Provisional results after Leg 3 (16:30 hrs local)


Nasser Al Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel

Toyota Hilux

8hr 27min 46sec


Yazeed Al Rajhi/Michael Orr

Toyota Hilux

9hr 49min 04sec


Jakub Przygonski/Timo Gottschalk

Toyota Hilux

10hr 31min 23sec


Khalid Al Mohannadi/Sébastien Delaunay

Polaris RZR 1000 Turbo

11hr 04min 01sec


Ahmed Al-Kuwari/Manuel Lucchese

Can-Am Maverick X3

11hr 11min 29sec


Saleh Alsaif/Ali Hassan Obaid

Can-Am X3 2019

11hr 28min 43sec


Fedor Vorobyev/Kirill Shubin

OT3 Overdrive

11hr 36min 05sec


Kees Koolen/Serge Bruynkens

OT3 Overdrive

11hr 40min 25sec


Balazs Szalay/Laszlo Bunkozci

Open Grandland X

12hr 12min 15sec


Aleksey Shmotev/Andrey Rudnitski

Can-Am Maverick

13hr 33min 51sec


T3 leaders Khalid Al Mohannadi/Sébastien Delaunay

Photos: RallyZone