Al Attiyah wins in Dubai to sign off Bajas campaign on high note


Qatar’s rally superstar Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah and his French co-driver Mathieu Baumel emerged victorious at the 2023 Dubai International Baja yesterday, wrapping up their successful FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas campaign.

The dynamic pair conquered the challenging terrain aboard the new BRX Prodrive Hunter with a time of 5 hours, 22 minutes, and 52.3 seconds to conclude the season on a high note, as the eighth and final round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, the Jordan Baja which was due to be held from 23 to 26 November, was cancelled given the current geopolitical situation.

Al Attiyah secured the FIA Bajas World Cup title last month in Portugal despite finishing in 5th place at the Baja Portalegre 500. Al Attiyah and Baumel are now looking forward to retaining their title at the Dakar Rally 2024 which will take place from January 6-19 in Saudi Arabia, where they will make their debut behind the wheel of the Prodrive Hunter T1+.

Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel celebrate after winning the 2023 Dubai International Baja. 

Yesterday, the five-time Dakar Rally champion outpaced his former Overdrive Racing team-mates Yazeed Al Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk who finished second overall in Dubai. Al Rajhi, who completed the Baja in 5 hours 28 min and 6.2 secs, confirmed the second spot in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas Drivers’ and Co-Drivers’ Championships – behind the victorious Qatar-French Duo.

The podium was completed by the Argentine-Spanish team of Juan Cruz Yacopini and Dani Oliveras of Overdrive Racing, finishing in 5:48:35.9 to claim the third position.

Action got underway on Friday evening with a two-kilometre Prologue at Dubai’s Festival City, which ran in the dark for the first time and attracted a large number of spectators. Al Attiyah won the Prologue and went on to secure the victory in Saturday’s second stage. The second stage was run through the Al Qudra Desert and was split into two competitive sections of 84.33km and 84.58km by a non-competitive zone.

The third stage also ran through the Al Qudra Desert and featured two competitive sections of 84.90km and 83.72km before the return to Festival City for the finish ceremony. Al Rajhi won the third and final stage yesterday by over two minutes from the Baja-winning Al Attiyah.

Source: Peninsula

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