Al Attiyah beats Peterhansel to claim Rally Kazakhstan win

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Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel today claimed victory on Rally Kazakhstan, the third event in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies.

The Toyota Hilux Overdrive crew took the win by five minutes and 21 seconds over the husband and wife MINI duo of Stéphane and Andrea Peterhansel with Jakub Przygonski and Timo Gottschalk rounding out the podium positions.

The final day of competition on the longest event in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies took the crews north of Aktau for the shortest selective section covering just 148.76 kilometres, the final stretch hugging the picturesque coastline of the Caspian Sea.

After dropping time and narrowly clinging onto his lead yesterday, Al Attiyah just had to maintain a good pace through the final section to claim his second Rally Kazakhstan victory and second win of the World Cup season.

“I am happy to win this race, it’s been a fantastic event with great organisation,” said the Qatari, who won three of the six stages and led from the second day. “After yesterday it was not easy thinking the same thing could happen again, but we did a good job and took no risks today.”

The MINI John Cooper Works Buggy crew of Stéphane and Andrea Peterhansel finished today’s section in second positon, just one minute and 39 seconds adrift of stage winner Bernhard Ten Brinke. “Today was a small stage but we suffered a bit with the dust from Yazeed [Al Rajhi] and then had a puncture near the end,” said Stéphane. “Day by day the rally has been better for us and Andrea became more confident with the speed and navigation. This rally has had completely different terrain to what we experience normally; it’s faster, not really aggressive and with not too many rocks. It’s high speed though and to give the information every 200 metres at 150 kph is not so easy. It is a good result, we’re happy but need more training together. Step by step it is better and better though,” concluded the Frenchman of their second position.

Jakub Przygonski and Timo Gottschalk had little more to fight for today and protected their third position through the final section. “It was an easy day for us, no need to fight,” said Przygonski. “I am happy, third position is okay, and we had the chance to test some parts so this was good too.”

Miroslav Zapletal and Marek Sykora finished a fine fourth overall in the Ford F-150 Evo ahead of the Russian crew of Denis Krotov/Dmytro Tsyro, both of whom had a comfortable advantage over the lead Kazakhs, Andrey Cherednikov and Ignat Falkov.

Yazeed Al Rajhi and Dirk Von Zitzewitz finished seventh in their Hilux Overdrive after losing time with a roll and penalties earlier in the event. They did however win two of the selective sections and finished fourth in today’s stage. “It was a good day and we could take it a little easy,” said the Saudi. “It was an unlucky race for us and without the mistakes, who knows… It has been a very nice event though, the road book has been good and everything worked well. I’ve enjoyed it a lot.”

Reinaldo Varela and Gustavo Gugelmin claimed their second T3 victory of the season and finished eighth overall with more than an hour and a half in hand to Jose Luis Pena Campo and Rafael Tornabell who finished second in the category in their Polaris RZR 1000. Tenth was Mohammed Al Meer and Alexey Kuzmich, winners in T2.

After a catalogue of problems during yesterday’s section, Bernhard Ten Brinke and Tom Colsoul reached the finish on a high with fastest time. “We had a good start position today and caught Przygonski after 35 kilometres, and then Zapletal,” said Ten Brinke. “It was a nice stage and a fantastic downhill run to the sea. I’m happy for Nasser, Mathieu and the team but it’s not the result we hoped for.”

The fourth and final round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies takes the contenders to north Africa for the Rallye du Maroc (4-8 October).

Rally Kazakhstan – Provisional Classification

Pos. Driver/Co-Driver Car Time
1 Nasser Al Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel Toyota Hilux Overdrive 17hr 58min 06.0sec
2 Stéphane Peterhansel/Andrea Peterhansel MINI John Cooper Works Buggy 18hr 03min 27.0sec
3 Jakub Przygonski/Timo Gottschalk MINI John Cooper Works Rally 18hr 45min 56.0sec
4 Miroslav Zapletal/Marek Sykora Ford F-150 Evo 19hr 27min 54.0sec
5 Denis Krotov/Dmytro Tsyro MINI John Cooper Works Rally 19hr 44min 40.0sec
6 Andrey Cherednikov/Ignat Falkov Ford F-150 Evo 21hr 12min 18.0sec
7 Yazeed Al Rajhi/Dirk Von Zitzewitz Toyota Hilux Overdrive 22hr 46min 11.0sec
8 Reinaldo Varela/Gustavo Gugelmin Can Am Maverick 24hr 21min 22.0sec
9 Jose Luis Pena Campo/Rafael Tornabell Polaris RZR 1000 25hr 53min 32.0sec
10 Mohammed Al Meer/Alexey Kuzmich Toyota Landcruiser 27hr 22min 10.0sec