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Sealine Rally, Qatar - 16/22 April 2016

Desert Dog

Dakar Finisher
2016 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup, round 3
2016 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, round 2

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

QMMF ANNOUNCES MODIFIED ROUTE FOR QATAR’S PUNISHING ROUND OF FIA AND FIM WORLD CUPS


· World class Losail international circuit facility to host overnight bivouacs
· Entries for QMMF’s Sealine Rally officially close on Thursday, March 31
· Opening selective section to start by historic military fort at Al-Zubarah


DOHA (Qatar): Officials at the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) are delighted to announce a radically modified and longer route to challenge competitors in this year’s Sealine Cross-Country Rally, round three of the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup and round two of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, taking place on April 16-22.

The opening leg will start out of the Losail international circuit on Monday April 18 and the first of five selective sections will run for 226.42km (25km longer than 2015) from the new location of a stunning ancient fort at Al-Zubarah to a finish at Losail. The historic Qatari military fort is situated on the northwest of the peninsula and was built under the oversight of Sheikh Abdullah bin Qassim Al-Thani in 1938.

The subsequent four selective sections will be around 50km shorter than last year, although the new terrain to the north makes up 30% of the route and will be used later in the rally.

Amendments have been made across the board and the new route outlined in the appendix to the unofficial supplementary regulations features further selective sections from Losail that run across the State of Qatar for 345.89km, 355.49km, 354.75km and 350.94km, respectively, on April 19-22.

The second section starts at Al-Kharrara and the third, fourth and fifth competitive sections get underway from Sealine, Al-Shabana and Rawdat Rashid, respectively. Sand dunes will be present, either close to the start or near the finish, on every competitive stage and the navigation remains as tricky as ever.

The QMMF has planned 1,633 km of competition in a total route of 2,435 km. Just over 67% per cent of the entire route is, therefore, timed against the clock for cars, motorcycles and quads.

The bivouac has been moved to the Losail International circuit for the first time and will enable competitors and officials to benefit from the world-class facilities on offer at the race circuit. This will do away with the need for additional office and administration infrastructure, temporary toilet and catering areas and a watered desert area to use for the Service Park and car parking.

“The team we have in place at the QMMF has built up considerable experience of running first rate cross-country rallies and I am looking forward to being involved in one of the most demanding rallies in the FIA and FIM motor sport calendars,” enthused Abdulrahman Abdulatif Al-Mannai, the new president of the QMMF.

“Our team has listened to feedback from teams, media and international visitors and have continued to tweak and improve all aspects of the rally. The terrain in Qatar is varied and challenging and we have a reputation for offering some of the most difficult navigation for riders and co-drivers anywhere in the world.

“I extend a special thanks to His Highness the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al-Thani, and His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, without whom this event would not have been possible.”

Portugal’s Pedro Almeida will act as clerk of the course once again for the auto event, with Jaime Santos working on the complex road book. Iain Black is the clerk of the course of the motorcycle event and Karl-Heinz Holtz is his deputy.

Victories last year in the car, motorcycle and quad categories fell to two-time Dakar winner Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (Mini All4 Racing), Spaniard Marc Coma on a works KTM and the Polish quad rider Rafal Sonik.

Administration checks, scrutineering, the initial briefing and the pre-event press conference will take place at Losail on Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17. The final deadline for entries has been set for Thursday, March 31st.
 

ZequeArgentina

Well-Known Member
So, first day finished, things are more and less same as in Abu Dhabi, Nasser leading, with a bunch of Minis following.
In this case only Yazeed seems to be comeptitive with Nasser, and the addition of Khalifa Al Attiyah makes Toyota more present in the top 10.

AUTO - Overall After SS1
1- Nasser Al Attiya Team (QAT) Matthieu Baumel (FRA) / Toyota Hilux Overdrive total time 2h 00m 28s

2 Yazeed Al Rajhi (KSA) Timo Gottschalk (GER) / Mini All 4 Racing +44s

3 * Ricardo Porem (POR) * Tom Colsoul (BEL) / Mini All 4 Racing + 8m10s

4 Khalifa Saleh Al Attiya (QAT) Jean Michel Polato (FRA) / Toyota Hilux + 9m49s

5 Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) * Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) / Mini All 4 Racing + 11m23s

6 Marek Dabrowski (POL) * Jacek Czachor (POL) / Toyota Hilux Overdrive + 16m56s

7 Yuriy Sazonov (KAZ) Dmytro Tsyro (RUS) / H3 Evolution Viii +18m44s

8 Jutta Kleinschmidt (GER) Philipp Beier (GER) / X-Raid Cbra + 20m56s

9 Mohammed Al-Mannai (QAT) Khoder Kamal (QAT) / Chevrolet Buggy +35m42s

10 Yerden Shagirov (KAZ) Vitaliy Yevtyekkhov (RUS) / H3 Evolution V + 36m12s
 

ZequeArgentina

Well-Known Member
Nasser won leg 2 and also leg 3.
Again only Yazeed on his pace, the rest way down.

In fact Nasser has won practically all stages of thsi year (excp one at the end of ADDC, when he controlled the race).

With 2 days remaining, Nasser leads by almost 9 minutes to Yazeed, Vasilyev is down 45 minutes, and the rest over 1 hour.
 

Yumaoffroad

Well-Known Member
ANY GORDINI TESTING?
 

John Bitting

Administrator
Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel dominate Qatari desert



Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel race the Sealine Cross Country Rally in Qatar © Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

Friday, April 22, 2016
Lusail, Doha, Qatar

Nasser Al-Attiyah’s perfect start to the defence of his FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup title continues at a fierce pace with a second win of the new season collected in his native Qatar. Nasser and co-driver Mathieu Baumel blasted into an early lead at the Sealine Cross Country Rally with victory on the first stage and held top spot until the chequered flag fell at the Losail International Circuit.

Qatari driver Nasser and Frenchman Mathieu were given a rapturous reception at the start of the Sealine Rally as they arrived in Doha fresh from winning the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. If they could achieve their mission objective of a second victory in a month it would put them in pole position to retain their World Cup.

The desert racing duo picked out the fastest path possible for their Toyota Hilux on stage one of the Sealine Rally to take early control of the contest. A second successive stage win on the following day of the race extended Nasser and Mathieu’s lead and gave them the chance to dictate the race pace from the front of the field.

Despite opening the road amid plenty of technical navigational challenges a third stage victory on the bounce was secured on the middle day of the Sealine Rally as the 2015 Dakar Rallywinners gave their fans plenty to cheer. Expectations of Nasser landing another win on home soil grew further with a fourth consecutive stage win.

The final day of action in Qatar brought to a close 1,650km of timed racing in harsh desert conditions. A victory lap of the Losail International Circuit awaited Nasser and Mathieu as they celebrated an imperious victory – winning four out of five stages on route to a convincing overall win.

This latest victory makes it two wins from two in the 2016 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup and leaves Nasser and Mathieu sitting on maximum points as they look to successfully defend their title. Nasser now takes a break from racing as he heads to his Olympic training camp before a trip to Rio de Janeiro where he aims to improve on his bronze medal for skeet shooting won in London four years ago.

Find out more about two-time Dakar Rally champion and Olympic medallist Nasser Al-Attiyah on RedBull.com.

Click here for images fresh from the Sealine Cross Country Rally!


Nasser Al-Attiyah © Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

Nasser Al-Attiyah & Mathieu Baumel © Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

Toyota Hilux workshop © Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

Quotes

Nasser Al-Attiyah: “It’s always a great feeling to win in front of your fans. We get great support wherever we race in the world, but to race in your own country is always a very special feeling.Tonight will be a celebration with friends and family.

“On every stage we did our best to control the race. If we needed to push then we would push, but if we didn’t need to push then we concentrated on finding a good rhythm. There were some really enjoyable sections through the dunes at this race. Navigation was sometimes tough, but we made sure to find the road and not take too many risks in this area.

“The Olympics are of course a very important part of this year for me. I will soon be leaving for a training camp in Italy for shooting. From then on I will be completely free to focus on shooting until the Olympics in Rio.”
 

John Bitting

Administrator
Red Bull Desert Wings score triple crown at Qatar’s Sealine Rally


Sam Sunderland rides the Sealine Rally © Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

Friday, April 22, 2016
Lusail, Doha, Qatar

There were significant moves made at the top of both the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship and FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup this week in Qatar. With plenty of precious championship points up for grabs, we saw a materclass on the dunes from the Red Bull Desert Wings squad who collected wins in the bike, quad and car categories of the Sealine Rally.

The bike race got off to an intriguing beginning with a mass start meaning the entire field got underway side-by-side. The gaps between riders were still minimal as the leading bikers finished the 225km special stage. A joint stage win was awarded to KTM rider Sam Sunderland and Pablo Quintanilla with reigning Dakar Rally champion Toby Price, also on a KTM, just two seconds behind the leading pair. On the following day Price leapfrogged his rivals to take the overall lead of the race.

However, Australia’s Price did not appear on the start line for stage three due to a slipped disc in his back. Remarkably Sunderland and Quintanilla finished the third day as they had finished the first – with exactly the same time and a share of the overall lead. Then the fourth stage saw a navigational mistake by Quintanilla of Chile that allowed British rider Sunderland to open up a gap at the head of the race. This cushion allowed Sunderland to manage his pace on the final stage and take the Sealine Rally’s top prize.

Hélder Rodrigues of Portugal parked his Yahama in third place behind Sunderland and Quintanilla while Mohammed Balooshi’s race came to a premature end due to a fractured knee sustained in a heavy crash.

It was a lot more straightforward in the quad contest for Chile’s Ignacio Casale who used three consecutive stage wins at the start of the week as a springboard to securing the overall win. Although focused on the win, Casale still took the time to stop and assist Balooshi when he saw the UAE biker had suffered a crash.

There was lots for the local fans to celebrate in the car race as Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and French co-driver Mathieu Baumel won the Sealine Rally in emphatic style. The defending FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup champions have now got the new season off to perfect start by following up their win in Abu Dhabi earlier this month with this victory in Qatar. Also driving a Toyota Hilux were the Polish pair of Marek Dabrowski and co-driver Jacek Czachor. Despite rolling their car on the third stage the Poles battled their way to the finish line and a respectable sixth place finish.

While a few Desert Wings won their categories and a couple saw their races come to an early end due to injury, we salute every member of the squad for giving their best at the Sealine Rally in Qatar and look forward to sharing the next adventure soon.

Click here for images fresh from the Sealine Cross Country Rally!



Sam Sunderland © Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

Bike race mass start © Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

Toby Price © Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

Nasser Al-Attiyah © Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

Ignacio Casale © Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

Marek Dabrowski & Jacek Czachor © Kin Marcin/Red Bull Content Pool

Quotes
Sam Sunderland: “I arrived at one point on the penultimate stage and could not see any tracks in front of me in the sand from Pablo (Quintanilla) so I figured that he’d made a mistake and I thought to myself, just keep going. I had to capitalise as much as I could. I pushed a lot trying to make as few mistakes as possible. The road book is so tricky here. We have to stay focused. Anything can happen. This race is brutal. It’s really physical and if you hit one stone it’s the end of your day.”

Toby Price: “After my problems on stage one I had a CT scan and found out I slipped a disc in my back and touched my nerves on the left side. It’s never the best to pull out of races halfway around the world when the team puts in so much effort, time and money. But pulling out of the event is hopefully going to be a smarter option for long term.”

Mohammed Balooshi: “I felt great during the first part of the fourth day but then had a big crash in a very fast section. The rally doctors sent me to hospital for a check-up, and it turns out the adventure ended with a fracture on my knee! I'm out for six weeks so not very happy days, but I’m super grateful for all the messages and support I’ve had and for, in the end, this being a minor thing. Big thanks to Ignacio Casale for stopping and helping me.”

Nasser Al-Attiyah: “It’s always a great feeling to win in front of your fans. We get great support wherever we race in the world, but to race in your own country is always a very special feeling.Tonight will be a celebration with friends and family. On every stage we did our best to control the race. If we needed to push then we would push, but if we didn’t need to push then we concentrated on finding a good rhythm. There were some really enjoyable sections through the dunes at this race. Navigation was sometimes tough, but we made sure to find the road and not take too many risks in this area.”
 

spalind

Well-Known Member
seeing NAAT at the top of his game in Rally-Raid and near the top of the world at shooting in the olympics reminds me of Ted Williams...bear with me here...but it was always said that he was so good at so many disparate things it was incredible...Obviously he is arguably one of the best hitters in baseball of all time, but he was also a world class fighter pilot and arguably one of the best fly fishers of all time...Few people rise to such amazing heights in a single endeavor, let alone two or three...NAAT is in that rarefied air.
 

GEO_DXB

Well-Known Member
add WRC-2 and Middle East Rally Championship to this.

Nasser's brother crashed early in the race, but was very quick coming from classic rallying
 

Short Bus

Well-Known Member
Here are a couple videos to get an idea of the terrain and the pace. Looks like another great location for an off road race.



It doesn't look like there is anyone racing in the FIA series at this point that has any hope of beating Nasser. I'm sure everyone is happy he is taking a few months off.
 
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