Motor sportsOther Sports

Qatar’s Nasser cruise to victory in Baja Russia

Karelia, Russia: Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah began the defence of his FIA World Cup title in convincing style with a start-to-finish maiden victory in Baja Russia Northern Forest Rally, the opening round of the 2018 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies.

The ace Qatari driver and French navigator Matthieu Baumel won four of the five stages in their Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux, running under the Tamim Al Majid Team banner, to reach the finish well ahead of former WRC star Martin Prokop.

Nasser said: “It was a good rally for me. We were here for the first time and managed to win. I have a lot of fans in Russia. It was a nice start to the season and, of course, thanks to Toyota. It’s the best team!”

Nasser and Baumel kick-started the action through a 17km super special stage on Friday afternoon and set the target time of 12min 12sec in their 2017-specification Toyota Hilux. Nasser extended his lead through the first of the selective sections on Saturday morning by beating Tapio Lauronen by 48 seconds and was four minutes quicker than Russian driver Vladimir Vasilyev through the second one to extend his lead at the second overnight halt to 4min 20sec over Martin Prokop.

There were no late dramas for the Qatari in the shorter final selective section and another fastest time – 15 seconds quicker than Prokop – earned the two-time Dakar winner his first victory in Russia.

Related Articles

Back to top button