Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah marked victory in the Hail Baja 1 race, during the fourth round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country which was held in Saudi Arabia, on Saturday.
The Qatari champion clocked the fastest time with a winning margin of 6 minutes and 10 seconds.
With multiple victories in the Dakar Rally, Al Attiyah is considered the only Middle Eastern and West Asian to win the competition more than once.
After opening the road on the 275.54lkm stage and having the extra burden of navigation, the Toyota Hilux driver and his French navigator Matthieu Baumel stayed ahead of the game twitch their closest rivals Carlos Sainz and Stéphane Peterhansel lagging by 3 minutes and 20 seconds.
The Two Hail Bajas competitions feature 54 cars, 27 motorcycles, 25 quad bikes and one truck all competing in the National Rally held in conjunction with the global tour.
Following his win, Al-Attiyah said: “It was a very good day for us; we started in a good position behind Carlos and we were fighting with him for the last 40km.
I am happy to win the stage.”
Five-time Hail Rally winner, Yazeed Al-Rajhi claimed fourth place in the first round. The Saudi driver finished in 14 minutes and 48 seconds behind his winning Toyota team-mate.
The second Hail Baja which will also be the final round is scheduled between December 14-16. The results of the title race will be then announced.
The second stage begins close to Jubbah and heads west of Hail before looping through the desert to finish close to the village of Q’na.
Khalifa Al-Attiyah, the brother of overall event winner Nasser, claimed third place in the category although technical issues thwarted Lorenço Rosa.
Hail Rally Toyota 2020 is guided by the Hail Regional Development Authority in cooperation with the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage and the General Authority for Sport.
Not long ago, Al-Attiyah’s car unexpectedly caught fire during the second round of this year’s World Rally Championship in Spain, forcing him to withdraw from the rally. The Qatari champion assured his fans that the accident will not stop him from continuing his professional journey. This month, he persists to impress his fans by winning the fourth round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country.
Result – Ha’il Baja I
- Nasser Al-Attiyah/Mathieu Baumel (Toyota Hilux)
- Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (Mini JCW Buggy)
- Stéphane Peterhansel/Edouard Boulanger (Mini JCW Buggy)
- Yazeed Al-Rajhi/Ditk von Zitzewitz (Toyota Hilux Overdrive)
- Vladimir Vasilyev/Dmitro Tsyro (Mini JCW Rally)
- Bernhard Ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul (Toyota Hilux Overdrive)
- Denis Krotov/Konstantin Zhiltsov (Mini All4 Racing)
- Saleh Al-Saif/Laurent Lichtleuchter (Can-Am Maverick X3)
- Erik van Loon/Sébastien Delaunay (Toyota Hilux Overdrive)
- Miroslav Xapletal/Marek Sykora (Ford F-150 Evo)