- Nearly 1400km through UAR desert
- Not the Dakar, perhaps, but still tough
- Mini team takes day, second overall
DOHA, Qatar – Saturday’s final stage of the 2017 Qatar Cross-Country rally ended here this afternoon (Apl 22) after 1373km with South African pair Leeroy Poulter / Dirk von Zitzewitz third on the day and third overall for the event in a Toyota Hilux.
Mini crew Jakub Prygonski / Tom Colsoul completed the day’s run in 3hr21min23 to score the leg – and to take overall second in the event, 3min51 sec ahead of the Toyota.
The overall rally winners, in another South African-built Toyota, were Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel who were second on the day.
Poulter said later: “It was a really good day for us – and my first Qatar Cross-Country. Dirk and I learned a lot and we are pleased with what we’ve achieved.
“I’m disappointed not to have held on to second overall but some camel grass in the dunes caught us out. That’s the nature of the game though – we’ve learned from the experience.”
TWO SA-BUILT TRUCKS ON PODIUM
Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team principal Glyn Hall told The Corner in a media release: “The event could hardly have gone any better for us as a team. Leeroy and Dirk learned a lot, and we progressed well with the development of our Toyota Hilux.
“We have two of our SA-built bakkies on the podium – that really proves their toughness and reliability.”
Race winner Al-Attiyah described the event as “the race with the toughest navigation in the International Automobile Federation’s World Cup” and added that the tracks were “extremely difficult to read, with many hidden dangers”.
EVERY ROUND TO AL-ATTIYAH
The Qatar rally was Round 4 of the World Cup and featured five stages. Al-Attiyah/Baumel are the defending Cup-holders, having won every round they entered in 2016 – also in a South African Toyota Hilux.
RESULTS – STAGE 5:
1 Prygonski/Colsoul (Mini) 3hr21min23
2 Al-Attiyah/Baumel (Toyota) +2min19
3 Poulter/Von Zitzewitz (Toyota) +3min51
4 Abu Issa/Panseri (Mini) +4min13
5 Al-Qassimi/Al-Kendi (Peugeot) +5min37
OVERALL TOP FIVE:
1 Al-Attiyah/Baumel (Toyota) 13hr48min09
2 Prygonski/Colsoul (Mini) +7min02
3 Poulter/Von Zitzewitz (Toyota) +7min30
4 Al-Qassimi/Al-Kendi (Peugeot) +14min32
5 Abu Issa/Panseri (Mini) +14min44