Attiyah claims victory for Toyota in Qatar

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Attiyah claims victory for Toyota in Qatar

Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah and Spanish co-driver Lucas Cruz Senra confirmed a crushing victory for the Belgian Overdrive Racing Team in the Sealine Cross-Country Rally, round three of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, which finished in Qatar on Saturday.

By Kt Report

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Published: Sun 22 Apr 2012, 8:45 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:47 PM

Defending a massive lead of 46min 09sec heading into the final 208km special stage, the Toyota Hilux duo didn’t need to take any risks and still set the fastest time to confirm outright victory by the margin of 49min 23sec.

Dubai’s Khalifa Al Mutaiwei and German co-driver Andreas Schulz lost valuable time with navigational issues on the final stage and finished third. Argentina’s Lucio Alvarez benefited from Al Mutaiwei’s delay to confirm second overall in another Toyota Hilux and the Emirati’s arch title rival Jean-Louis Schlesser finished fourth.

The Toyota one-two was the first ever for the Japanese manufacturer on a round of the FIA World Cup and marked a fourth successive win on the Qatar event for Al Attiyah.

“We had some navigational problems while I was trying to push and catch Lucio,” admitted Al Mutaiwei. “It was not possible after that to finish second, but I am quite happy to be ahead of Schlesser and than enabled me to claw back some points in the championship.”

“This is a fantastic win for me and a chance to win another event in another car,” said Al Attiyah. “The Toyota was impressive, so much so that I would like to continue in the championship in places where there are no clashes with the MERC and WRC.

“After winning the Bajas here, the Sealine event was totally different. It was a proper cross-country event. The stages were rough, challenging and never easy. It was a superb effort by the team at the QMMF to make such a good rally so soon after entering the championship.”

Spaniard Marc Coma headed Portugal’s Helder Rodrigues by 5m 59s at the start of the day in the motorcycle category and needed to run quickly with the leaders to avoid losing too much time to the Portuguese on the day’s special. He started in third, with Rodrigues in eighth, and reached the finish with the second quickest time to record a comfortable 6m 05s victory over Rodrigues, the defending FIM champion.

Jordi Viladoms finished third on his Bordone-Ferrari Team KTM, Poland’s Jakub Przygonski was fourth and Portugal’s Ruben Faria rounded off the top five, but the results were provisional pending an investigation into a missing stamp on a couple of time cards.

After his crash and delays on Friday, Spain’s Joan Barreda Bort recovered well to set the fastest time of the day on his Husqvarna. The UAE Mohammed Al-Balooshi set the 13th quickest time on the final stage and finished the event in 12th position.

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