No stopping Nasser on day one of Morocco Rally
Rocky terrain and tough competition failed to stop the Qatar driver as he ended day one on top of the leaderboard.
Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel staged a superb comeback after trailing in second place at different stages on the first day in the Rally of Morocco, the final round of the World Cup of Cross Country Rallies.
It was not a great first day for the competitors as the treacherous and rocky terrain told on their tyres. Many of them suffered punctures and were forced to change tyres, reflecting in their slow times.
RESULTS (AFTER LEG 1)
- 1. Nasser Al Attiyah (Qatar)/ Mathieu Baumel (France) 03:13:09
- 2. Mathieu Serradori (France)/Fabian Lurquin (Belgium) 03:15:48
- 3. De Villiers Giniel (South Africa) /Haro Alex (Spain) 03:16:23
- 4. Stephane Peterhansel (France)/Andrea Peterhansel (Belgium) 03:18:23
- 5. Bernhard Ten Brinke (Netherlands)/Tom Colsoul (Belgium) 03:21:02
The first day of the event ran for a shortened distance of 226km, after the opening loop of 103km was dropped because the reconnaissance car found solar panels that were not there when the route was designed.
Despite the tough conditions, the Qatari driver and his French co-driver emerged on top. Nasser’s familiarity with the conditions could have helped the Qatari driver.
“It’s my second home here. We have a lot of experience here,” Nasser had said on Friday.
The contest was expected to be a tough one between France’s Stephane Peterhansel and Nasser and it started out that way. At the end of the day, though the conditions got the better of Peterhansel and he dropped to fifth position.
Former Formula One champion Fernando Alonso was also on the same joint team as that of Nasser – Overdrive Racing and Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa — but the Spanish driver who is using the event as preparation for the Dakar Rally, found himself lagging behind. The rocky terrain saw him suffer two punctures but he hoped to make a turnaround in the remaining days of the event.