Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah, Spain’s Marc Coma and Poland’s Rafal Sonik each confirmed their third victories at the Sealine Rally Raid Qatar 2015 in four years in the car, motorcycle and quad categories on Friday.
Al-Attiyah won three of the five stages in the car category and, aside from a plethora of flat tyres, the Qatari continued his remarkable run of victories this season. His exclusion from the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge aside, the Red Bull maestro has now won five of his last six rallies on three continents in four different championships with French co-driver Matthieu Baumel.
“It was a tough race, it was really long, not like last year,” said Al-Attiyah. “We were leading from the beginning and it was a great week for us. We appealed against the decision in Abu Dhabi and we wait for the outcome of that, but we will go to all the races in case we do not get the 60 points back for that.”
Defending FIA World Cup champion, Vladimir Vasilyev, continues to top the FIA World Cup points’ standings after finishing second overall in his X-raid Mini All4 Racing.
Brazilian Reinaldo Varela finished third in an Overdrive Toyota Hilux, despite a total of nine punctures during the week, Czech privateer Miroslav Zapletal was fourth and Poland’s Marek Dabrowski finished fifth in the second of the Belgian-built Toyotas.
Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi is one of the most improved drivers in the world this year but he lost his chance of leaping into second position in the championship standings after he and German co-driver Timo Gottschalk suffered a broken drive shaft with their Toyota Hilux over the final kilometres and got stuck in the sand
TEXT & PHOTO: Sealine Cross Country