3rd stage win for Nasser Al-Attiyah edges him closer to Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge glory

Wed, 2021-11-10 12:55

ABU DHABI: With two rounds of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge remaining, the drivers’ title remains in the grasp of Nasser Al-Attiyah who on Tuesday completed a hat-trick of fastest stage times with Mathieu Baumel in a Toyota Hilux, stretching his overall lead to 11 minutes and 18 seconds.

With two days and 414 kilometers of desert stages still to complete, however, the Qatari will be wary of his closest challenger, Poland’s Jakub Przygonski.

On completing the 293-kilometer Abu Dhabi Sports Council Stage 3, Al-Attiyah said: “I’m quite happy with today, good navigation, and great terrain which made it like surfing for much of the time. Today we pushed a little more, each day we do a little more. All is going well.”

Partnered by Timo Gottschalk in a Mini John Cooper Works Buggy, Przygonski said: “Today wasn’t a very good day for us because we couldn’t get a very good grip, so it’s good that we finished the stage. Sometimes it happens, but tomorrow is another day. Let’s see.”

Argentine Lucio Alvarez held on to third place in his Toyota Hilux Overdrive, but a broken drive shaft dropped Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi with Irishman Michael Orr to seventh in their Toyota.

Finishing the day lying fifth overall, Poland’s Marek Goczal and Lukasz Laskawiec in a Can-Am Maverick now top the FIA T4 category, while Saudi Arabia’s Saleh Alsaif with Russian co-driver Egor Okhotnikov lead T3 in another Can-Am Maverick.

Young Emirati driver Mansour Al-Helei lies third in F4 and eighth overall with Abdulla Dakhan in their Can-Am Maverick. The Czech Republic’s Martin Prokop and Viktor Chytka in a Ford Raptor RS Cross Country continue to dominate the class for 2022 specification cars.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, president of the Emirates Motorsports Organization and FIA vice president for sport, said: “The first two days have been demanding, and fully lived up to expectations. We have two more testing legs to go, and no-one can take anything for granted.”

In the other FIM categories, South African Michael Docherty leads by more than an hour in Rally2, while Argentina’s Manuel Andujar has a similar advantage over the UAE’s Abdulaziz Ahli in the quads.

Leading positions after Abu Dhabi Sports Council Stage 3 (provisional)


Nasser Al-Attiyah / Mathieu Baumel (QAT / AND) / Toyota Hilux 11:52:52.0

Jakub Przygonski / Timo Gottschalk (POL / DEU) / Mini John Cooper Works Buggy 12:04:10.0

Lucio Alvarez / Armand Monleon (ARG / SPA) / Toyota Hilux Overdrive 12:14:25.0

Denis Krotov / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS / RUS) / Mini John Cooper Works Buggy 12:57:24.0

Marek Goczal / Lukasz Laskawiec (POL / POL) / BRP Can-Am Maverick 12:58:25.0

Austin Jones / Gustavo Gugelmin (US / BRA) / BRP Can-Am Maverick 13:02:01.0

Yazeed Al-Rajhi/ Michael Orr (SAU / GBR) / Toyota Hilux Overdrive 13:02:48.0

Mansour Al-Helei / Abdulla Dakhan (ARE / ARE) / BRP Can-Am Maverick 13:09:45.0

Sebastian Halpern / Bernardo Graue (ARG / ARG) / Mini John Cooper Works Buggy 13:12:10.0

Kees Koolen / Mirjam Pol (NLD / NLD) / BRP Can-Am Maverick 13:17:33.0


Matthias Walkner (AUT) / KTM 450 Rally Factory Replica / 1 10:54:24.4

Daniel Sanders (AUS) / GASGAS 450 Rally Factory Replica / 1 10:55:22.0

Adrien Van Beveren (FRA) / Yamaha WR450 F01 Rally / 1 11:00:04.2

Andrew Short (US) / Yamaha WR450 F01 Rally / 1 12:18:43.4

Joaquim Rodrigues (PRT) / Hero 450 Rally / 1 12:20:53.0

Sebastian Buhler (DEU) / Hero 450 Rally / 1 12:33:44.0

Aaron Mare (ZAF) / KTM 450 Rally / 1 13:00:06.0

Sultan Al-Balooshi (UAE) / KTM 450 Rally Replica / 1 13:57:20.0

Konrad Dabrowski (POL) / KTM 450 Rally Replica / 1 14:03:01.8

David McBride (GBR) / Husqvarna 450 Rally / 1 14:12:32.0

Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge rally schedule

Nov. 10: Stage 4 Abu Dhabi Aviation — 251.98km

Nov 11: Stage 5 Yas Marina Circuit — 162.94km

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