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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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Nasser, Baumel in front in Cyprus Rally

Another dominating performance by the Qatari driver in penultimate round of Middle East Rally Championship.
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Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah and France’s Matthieu Baumel in action in the Cyprus Rally on Sunday. Photo: FIAERC website.

Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah and his French co-driver Matthieu Baumel of France were well on their way to adding another trophy to their collection this year as they finished the first leg of the Cyprus Rally at the top of the leaderboard on Saturday.

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Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah is all smiles after a heartening performance in Leg 1 of the Cyprus Rally on Sunday. Photo: FIAERC website

RESULTS

  • 1. Nasser Al Attiyah (Qatar)/Matthieu Baumel (Fra) 01:16:29.5
  • 2. Lukyanuk Alexey (Russia)/ Arnautov Alexey (Russia) 01:16:54.9
  • 3. Galatariotis S. (Cyprus) / Ioannou Antonis (Cyprus) 01:18:40.6
  • 4. Ingram Chris (GBR) / Whittock Ross (GBR) 01:19:04.8
  • 5. Habaj Tukasz (Poland) / Dymurski Daniel (Poland) 01:19:14.2

The duo, in a Volkswagen Polo Gti R5, won all the six stages on the first day without really being pushed on the gravel and asphalt surfaces.

Nasser said, “It was a good day. We’re quite happy. The Michelin tyres were fantastic, we had no puncture, but tomorrow is another long day”.

Nasser was probably reminded of what transpired last year when a puncture in the final stage pushed him back from first to fourth. He and Baumel will keep their fingers crossed this time hoping that nothing like that transpires during leg 2 on Sunday.

Stage 5 in Lefkara was a bit of a worry for the duo. The 23.23km stretch cut through the picturesque Cyprus village, but the surface had the duo on tenterhooks.

“We were slower here as the road is completely destroyed,” said Nasser.

Nasser and Baumel were not taking any risks for the final stage of Leg 1 and changed two new tyres. It saw them through the day safely.

Stage four in Politiko with a distance of 14.60km was where Nasser and Baumel pushed hard. They just about built on the 26sec lead they had garnered after the first three stages. They were 26.6sec ahead of the Russian duo of Lukyanuk Alexey and Arnautov Alexey.

In fact as they progressed to the final two stages of the day, the Russian duo had whittled down the lead to 25.4sec. But it was nothing to worry about as the lead was still enough for them to push ahead during the final six legs on Sunday.

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Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah and France’s Matthieu Baumel showed splendid control on the gravel surfaces in the Cyprus Rally on Saturday. Photo: FIAERC website