Red Bull Desert Wings make blistering start to Rally Andalucia
May 13, 2021
The Red Bull Desert Wings have come roaring out of the traps at Rally Andalucia. On today’s stage they backed up their impressive prologue performances to set the fastest times in both the car and side-by-side categories.
Defending car race champion Nasser Al-Attiyah wasted no time in exerting his influence over the rally in southern Spain. The three-time Dakar Rally winner, alongside co-driver Mathieu Baumel, came out on top during Wednesday’s prologue stage. The duo were then able to pick their preferred starting position for today’s opening stage and elected to go out onto the course as the third car.
Al-Attiyah then pressed home his advantage on the 177-kilometre stage today as he extended his lead in the car category. It’s the best possible start for Al-Attiyah and Baumel as they look to park their Toyota Hilux on the top step of the podium for the second year in succession.
“We’ve started well and now we will try to do everyday like this.” – Nasser Al-Attiyah
The opening stage in Andalucia was certainly not without incident as the race was halted at 177-kilometres for safety reasons. There was also an issue for Carlos Sainz and co-driver Lucas Cruz with the tracking device in their MINI. Despite the problem Sainz finished stage one in third place, just 2m32s behind Al-Attiyah.
“We will try to do much better on tomorrow’s stage.” – Carlos Sainz
Elsewhere in the car contest there has been a steady start to the rally for Laia Sanz in her native Spain. Also making a rally-raid debut in the car category is Mattias Ekström. The Swede has made a positive beginning to the rally and holds a spot in the Top 10 with three stages remaining.
“We started at the back as the 30th car so we had lots of dust to deal with.” – Laia Sanz
The standout performances on the opening days of Rally Andalucia have come from the Red Bull Off-Road Junior Team. All four drivers put their OT3s in the Top 10 overall on the prologue stage as they mixed it with the big beasts in the T1 class. Going fastest for the Junior Team on the prologue was new recruit Guillaume De Mevius who was just 11 seconds off Al-Attiyah’s time on the 8-kilometre course.
The Junior Team once again showed they could hold their own against the T1 cars on stage one. This time it was Seth Quintero with the day’s fastest time in the T3 class as he put himself in the Top 6 of all vehicles combined.
“We were running up front and just doing our own race. The OT3 was absolutely amazing.” – Seth Quintero
“We can be very happy with the job that we did today.” – Cristina Gutiérrez
Tomorrow sees the convoy tackle a 279-kilometre timed special stage. Rally Andalucia is round one of the seven round 2021 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country-Rallies.
Rally Andalucia Top 3 Car Race Stage One
1. N. Al-Attiyah (QAT)/M. Baumel (FRA) Toyota
2. V. Zala (LIT)/P. Fiuza (POT) MINI +1m25s
3. C. Sainz (ESP)/L. Cruz (ESP) MINI +2m32s
Rally Andalucia Top 3 T3 Race Stage One
1. S. Quintero (USA)/D. Zenz (GER) OT3
2. C. Gutiérrez (ESP)/F. Cazalet (FRA) OT3 +1m48s
3. G. De Mevius (BEL)/T. Colsoul (BEL) OT3 +3m54s
Nasser Al-Attiyah: “It was a very good special stage for us today. We only did two parts of the special today because the last part was cancelled. I’m happy to win another stage and to be leading overall. We’ve started well and now we will try to do everyday like this.”
Carlos Sainz: “The feeling was not quite there with the car on today’s stage. We will try to do much better on tomorrow’s stage.”
Laia Sanz: “Today was a positive day. We started at the back as the 30th car so we had lots of dust to deal with. We had to keep calm to get past the cars in front and it was difficult to get a good rhythm going. I think tomorrow will be better.”
Seth Quintero: “It looks like we ended up in P1 today by about two minutes. It looks like we also ended up getting P6 overall. It’s been a wild day. We were running up front and just doing our own race. The OT3 was absolutely amazing. It’s so nice to be able to run at your own pace and just enjoy it.”
Cristina Gutiérrez: “It was a tricky stage on a very narrow track. I was taking care to stay on the track and look after the car. After a while I started to feel a lot more comfortable. We can be very happy with the job that we did today.”