x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Al Attiyah wins the UAE desert challenge

Qatar's Nasser al Attiyah emerged from the desert as the first Arab driver for 15 years to win the UAE Desert Challenge.

Qatar's Nasser al Attiyah, right, is the first Arab driver to win the UAE Desert Challenge in 15 years.  The UAE's Yahya Alhelei, left,  took second.
Qatar's Nasser al Attiyah, right, is the first Arab driver to win the UAE Desert Challenge in 15 years. The UAE's Yahya Alhelei, left, took second.

Qatar's Nasser al Attiyah emerged from the desert as the first Arab driver for 15 years to win the UAE Desert Challenge today, while French rider Cyril Despres scored his fifth bikes title triumph in the spectacular event. The 2,197-kilometre six-day rally was dominated by al Attiyah's prototype BMW X3. al Attiyah, partnered with Tina Thorner, a top Swedish female co-driver, clinched the drivers' title in the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies. He reached the finish in Dubai this afternoon four hours and 27 minutes ahead of UAE's Yahya Alhelei. Alhelei took second place in a standard production class Nissan Patrol, his fifth time as a placeholder in the event. "I'm really, really happy to finish in this position," he said. "It's been a hard rally, one which you need experience to cover the stages. I hope to win next year, and I'm looking for a sponsor who will care and support local drivers." "There are a lot of companies that come here and make a lot of money, and it would be nice for them to support this sport. Experience is more important in the Desert Challenge than expensive factory cars, so I'm pleased to have passed so many other drivers. I'm very happy for Nasser to win this event.' Finishing third in the Nakheel and Nissan sponsored event was Russian driver Vladimir Chagin in one of the impressive Kamaz trucks. The top six was completed by Poland's Krzysztof Holowczyc, in a Nissan Navara T1, UAE-based Joseph Rosso in a Nissan Pathfinder and Emirati driver Abdulla Alheraiz in a Nissan Patrol. Despres won the open bikes title by 14 minutes 14 seconds from Chilean rider Francisco Lopez. Provisional results Cars 1. Nasser Al Attiyah / Tina Thorner (QA /S) BMW X3 T1 18:22:46 2. Yahya Alhelei / Khalid Alkendi (UAE / UAE) Nissan Patrol T2 22:50:31 3. Vladimir Chagin/Sergey Savostin/Anatoly Tahin (RUS) Kamaz 4911 23:25:24 4.Krzysztof Holowczyc / Jean-Marc Fortin (PL / B) Nissan Navara T1 23:50:14 5. Joseph Rosso / Jean M.J.A. Lurquin (UAE / B) Nissan Pathfinder T2 26:34:39 6. Abdulla Alheraiz / A.Haleem Bin Zayed (UAE/UAE) Nissan Patrol T2 27:05:39 7. Ali Al Shawi / Yahia Alamri (UAE / UAE) Nissan Patrol T2 27:38:29 8.Aurelijus Petraitis / Antanas Juknevicius (LT / LT) Oscar T1 27:56:23 9. Artur Ardavichus / Denis Berezovskiy (KZ / KZ) Nissan Patrol T2 29:20:37 10.5. Laurent Rosso / Fabian JC Lurquin (UAE / B) Nissan Pathfinder T2 30:22:38 Bikes, Open 1.Cyril Despres (F) KTM Rally Replica/690 19:22:51 2. Francisco Lopez (RCH) KTM Rally Replica/690 19:37:31 3. James West (GB) KTM 690/690 20:09:10 4. Alain Duclos (F) KTM/690 20:31:40 5. Jordi Viladoms (E) KTM Rally Replica/690 20:32:27 6. Miran Stanovnik (SLO) KTM Rally Replica/690 20:49:08 7. Tim Trenker (D) KTM 0/660 20:53:52 8. Paul Rivet (F) KTM LC4/660 21:04:01 9. Jakub Przygonski (PL) KTM Rally Replica/690 21:08:50 10. Jacek Czachor (PL) KTM/450 21:29:27 Bikes, 450cc 1. Sean Gaugain (ZAF) Honda CRF 450 X/450 20:39:16 2. Alan Roberts (AUS) Honda CFR 450 X/450 21:23:51 3. Helder Rodrigues (P) Honda CRF 450 X /450 21:51:05 4. Simon Pavey (AUS) Honda CRF 450 X/450 22:11:46 5. Sean Linton (GB) Honda CRF 450 X/450 22:17:52 6. Khalid Al Falasi (UAE) Honda CRF 450 X/450 22:31:02 7. Jason Sockett (GB) Honda CRF 450 X/450 24:14:17 8. Ludovic Delmar (F) Honda CRF 450 X/450 24:20:29 9. David De Souza (GB) KTM 450 EXC/450 26:08:40 10. Matthew Lee (GB) Honda CRF 450 X /450 26:31:53 Quads 1. Lionel Laine (F) KTM 525 XC ATV/525 23:46:54 2.Mohammed Al Shamsi (UAE) Honda TRX 700 XX/700 23:59:70 3.Eric Vergnes (F) Honda TRX 700 XX/700 24:44:04 4. Razvan-Paul Irimescu (RO) Yamaha Raptor/700 26:14:11 5.Obaid Juma Obaid Zayed Echtibi (UAE) Honda TRX 700 XX/700 26:35:31 6.Alex Pauliner (RO) Yamaha Raptor /700 26:52:22 7. Hamad Suhail Salem Suhail Al Khaili (UAE) Yamaha Raptor/700 28:25:29 8. Minky Botha (ZAF) Honda TRX 700 XX/700/Quad 29:14:44

* Staff