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17 mag 2021
17 may 2012
Nasser Al-Attiyah and his French co-driver Mathieu Baumel charged to victory in the opening round of the 2021 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country-Rallies, successfully defending their Rally Andalucía title in the process. Here is all you need to know:
- Three-time Dakar Rally winner Al-Attiyah, behind the wheel of his Toyota Hilux, roared away from the start line to win the prologue and the opening stage, establishing a lead that he held until the chequered flag in Spain.
- “We had fun this week and to get another win here feels great,” said Al-Attiyah. “We enjoyed the landscape and also fighting with our rivals. From the very start we were here to defend our title from last year. Carlos is one of the best drivers out there so it’s always good to have the chance to race against him.”
- Claiming a T1 car class runners-up result on home soil was three-time Dakar winner Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard, behind the wheel of a 4x4 MINI John Cooper Works Rally car, showed his customary coolness under pressure while pushing Al-Attiya all the way.
- Sainz said: “I’m feeling very satisfied with our work here during four long and tough days. It’s always a pleasure to race in Spain.”
- Making his rally-raid debut, former DTM and WRX champion Mattias Ekström impressed as he secured fifth place behind the wheel of a MINI John Cooper Works Buggy.
- Laia Sanz was also making her rally-raid debut in the car class after finishing the last 11 editions of the Dakar as the top placed female biker. Despite a tricky prologue, The Spaniard showed great speed over the 1,000 kilometres of timed special stages to place 7th overall.
- She said: “I think I’ve improved a lot as a driver this week. I feel a big difference between the first stage and today.”
- In the T3 race, the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team dominated proceedings, setting the fastest time in their class throughout the rally. There were also stage wins for Guillaume de Mevius and 18-year-old Seth Quintero.
- The first-ever overall win for the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team was claimed by Cristina Gutiérrez. The Spanish native showed consistent pace to place in the Top 3 in her class on every stage of the rally.
- Gutiérrez said: “Finally we have won our category and it feels incredible. I hope we can do it again in the next race. The final stage was very stressful. I was pushing and pushing to get this win.”
- Gutiérrez’s remarkable speed at the wheel of the OT3 saw her finish between the T1 machines of Ekström and Sanz in the final overall times, while the victory puts her top of the T3 standings of the 2021 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country-Rallies.
- Rally Andalucía was round one of the seven-round 2021 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country-Rallies. Next up is Rally Kazakhstan which runs from June 7-13
The Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team are back in action this week with a new addition after rewriting the record books at the Dakar Rally earlier in the year.
Here is all you need to know:
- Rally Andalucia is the first-ever race to have FOUR Junior Team crews entered and expectations are high that they can build on their impressive performance in the Saudi Arabian desert.
- January saw them claim Dakar records including the youngest ever stage winner and first female stage winner since Dakar left Africa, and they are chasing more glory in southern Spain from May 12-16.
- At last year's inaugural Rally Andalucia, they took a stage win and secured two spots in the Top 4 of the side-by-side category with Seth Quintero (USA)/Dennis Zenz (GER), Cristina Gutiérrez (ESP)/Francois Cazalet (FRA), Mitch Guthrie Jr. (USA)/Ola Floene (NOR) plus new additions Guillaume de Mevius (BEL)/Tom Colsoul (BEL) lining up this year at the controls of the custom built OT3 machine.
- De Mevius, 26, joins after strong results in the T3 category at last year's Baja Portalegre as well as both Hail Bajas, while he also has WRC experience and he will link up with compatriot Colsoul.
- He revealed: "Joining the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team is a massive opportunity for me. I'll have to pace myself because the rally is four days long. Maybe that's not too long for a rally-raid if you compare it with the Dakar, but it’s a long race compared with what I’m used to."
- Youngest ever Dakar stage winner Quintero, 18, added: "Last year we had a little bit of a problem on the first two stages. Hopefully we'll be able to stay in the mix on all four stages this time."
- After making Dakar history of her own and securing a podium at the inaugural Extreme E race last month alongside legend Sébastien Loeb, Gutiérrez comes home with Francois Cazalet on the roadbook.
- The 29-year-old added: "Since the Dakar I have not driven the car so I need to get back my rhythm. I am really excited to race here because last year this race changed my life. The first Extreme E race was good. Seb has been sharing a lot of driving tips and how to handle the media."
- American Guthrie Jr. has driven two Dakars as part of the Junior Team and now the 24-year-old is looking forward to competing in his first full FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies.
- He explained: "Last year in Andalucia we got a podium, this year the plan is to go for that win. Now there have been crazy improvements made to the car, it’s so much faster than it was last year!"
- Rally Andalucia is round one of the seven round 2021 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies and racing starts on Wednesday, May 12 with a short prologue stage, then comes four long days covering 1,200 kilometres of challenging off-road routes around the Andalusian town of Villamartín.