Ruling FIA World Cup champion Nasser Al-Attiyah generated a very first leg master class to take control in the Dubai International Baja powered by AW Rostamani and Nissan today while French rider Benjamin Melot grabbed the lead in the bikes contest.
Partnered by French co-driver Mathieu Baumel in a Toyota Hilux, Al Attiyah powered his means right into a lead of 6 minutes 12 secs after the day's 2 stages from the UAE's Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi and Khalid Al Kendi in their Abu Dhabi Racing Peugeot 2008 DKR.
Former Abu Dhabi Desert Obstacle quads promote Mohammed Abu Issa of Qatar ended up the phase an additional 6 minutes 52 secs away in third place in a Mini All4 Competing in the second round of this year's. FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies.
H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum had flagged away the 60 autos, buggies, bikes and quads from the ceremonial start at Bab Al Shams Field on Thursday evening, in the presence of H.E. Ibrahim Abdul Malik, General Secretary of the General Authority of Young people & Sports Well-being, and Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of Vehicle and Touring Club of the UAE and Emirates Motor Sport Federation.
Al Qassimi could have been closer to Al Attiyah but for an early issue. He claimed: "We had a great begin to SS1 in the morning with wonderful rhythm however then encountered some troubles when owning on the sand as the track was impacted by the bikes and cars that began before us. So we aimed to take a different line and managed to get our rhythm back and restore several of the moment we had actually lost," he said.
"Approaching close to the last 10km we hit an additional barrier when the jack arm fell off; we tried to draw the arm back up which impacted our rate. We likewise lost a little bit of time when we needed to transform and pass the waypoint after 500m, but that's fine. Anyway, we managed to effectively go across the SS1 finish line but it looks like the jack is bent. Generally, the phase excelled and we are currently eagerly anticipating the continuing to be phases.".
Czech Republic driver Miroslav Zapletal in a Hummer, Frenchman Ronan Chabot in a Toyota Hilux and World Cup first round champion Aron Domzala of Poland in another Hilux completed the leading six.
Capitalising on the retirement of Dubai-based Dakar Rally champion Sam Sunderland with mechanical troubles, Melot completed the very first leg holding a 1 min 28 secs lead over South African motorcyclist Mark Ackerman, with Italian Alessandro Ruoso in 3rd, just ahead of leading Emirati rider Mohammed Al Balooshi. Dubai-based Dave McBride and Kuwaiti Mohammed Jaffar finished the leading six in the opening round of this year's FIM Bajas World Cup.
" We have actually had a great initial day of desert rallying, and the enjoyment generated by the event already recommends it has a very big future," stated Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Auto and Touring Club or the UAE, the rally organisers, and the Emirates Motor Sport Federation.
Emirati driver Ahmed Al Maqoodi partnered by Obaid Al Kitbi in a Polaris finished the day leading the buggies classification and holding ninth place overall.
In the production cars class, young Emirati driver Mansour Al Helei in an Abu Dhabi Competing Land Cruiser had taken a 5 mins 34 secs lead from the Nissan Patrol of UAE-based Emil Khneisser.Saudi Arabia's Yasir Seaidan in an additional Land Cruiser was 2 minutes 40 secs further away in 3rd, with reigning FIA World Cup T2 champ Adel Hussain Abdulla of Qatar fourth in another Nissan Patrol.
At the end of two AW Rostamani Arabian Automobiles phases adding up to 174kms, the UAE's Mohammed Al Shamsi topped the quads standings on his Yahamah 700 Raptor by 1min 20secs from Kuwaiti Fahad Al Musallam on an additional Yamaha. The UAE's Humaid Al Mashghouni was an additional 6 minutes 32 secs away in third position on a Honda.
Occurring under the patronage of H.H.Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, the Dubai International Baja is the second round of this year's FIA World Cup for Cross Nation Rallies for automobiles and buggies and the opening round of the FIM Bajas World Cup for bikes and quads.
The rally is supported by Dubai Sporting activity Council, Dubai Authorities, Dubai Civil Defence, Al Ain Water and AssetCo Fire and Rescue. With the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Medspa supplying a glamorous setting, the event's functional HQ and technical parc ferme lies at the close-by Bab Al Shams Field.
The occasion ends up at Bab Al Shams Field at 5pm tomorrow after the final 174km Nissan phase.
Provisionary leading positions at the end of Leg 1.
1. Nasser Al-Attiyah/ Mathieu Baumel (QAT/ FRA) Toyota Hilux 1:58:27.
2. Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi/ Khalid Al Kendi (ARE/ ARE) Peugeot 2008 DKR 2:04.39.
3. Mohammed Abu Issa/ Xavier Panseri (QAT/ FRA) Mini All4 Racing 2:11:31.
4. Miroslav Zapletal/ Marek Sykora (CZE/ SLO) Hummer H3 EVO V11 2:15:35.
5. Ronan Chabot/ Gilles Pillot (FRA/ FRA) Toyota Hilux 2:18:56.
6. Vadym Prytuliak (UKR) Polaris RZR 1000 T3.1 2:23:16.
7. Aron Domzala/ Szymon Gospodarczyk (POL/ POL) Toyota Hilux 2:23:49.
8. Khalid Al Jafla/ Ahmad Al Malik (ARE/ ARE) Armada Prize Vehicle 2:24:40.
9. Ahmed Al Maqoodi/ Al Kitbi Obaid (ARE/ ARE) Polaris RZR 1000 2:24:45.
10. Yahya Al Helei/ Nasser Al Kuwari (ARE/ QAT) Nissan Grab 2:26:28.
1. Benjamin Melot (FRA) KTM 500 EXC 5 2:03:20.
2. Mark Ackerman (RSA) KTM 450 FX 1 2:04:48.
3. Alessandro Ruoso (ITA) KTM 450 SXF 1 2:08:18.
4. Mohammed Al Balooshi (ARE) KTM 450 SXF 1 2:09:40.
5. David McBride (GBR) KTM 450 Rally 1 2:12:54.
6. Mohammed Jaffar (KUW) KTM 450 Rally 1 2:14:16.
7. Manuel Lucchese (ITA) Yamaha 450 WR 1 2:17:13.
8. Tim Trenker (DEU) Husqvarna 450 FX 1 2:17:18.
9. Shannon O'Connor (RSA) KTM 450 SXF 1 2:18:03.
10. Khalid Khamis Ozair (ARE) Husqvarna 450 FX 1 2:19:4.