(MENAFN- The Peninsula)
Doha: Qatar's champion rally driver Nasser Al Attiyah and his French navigator Mathieu Baumel yesterday finished on top after the third stage to stay on course for his 6th victory in Rally Morocco.
The Qatari driver earlier had won both first and second stages of the popular rally.
Yesterday, the 16-time Middle East Rally Champion and four-time winner of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, Al Attiyah, along with Baumel, began the fifth day in their Toyota Hilux opening the cars' competition of Stage 3 of 630kms (Super Stage 330kms) with less sand and requiring more navigational skills.
Attiyah finished on top (3:29:31secs), 27secs ahead of Polish Jakub Przygonski (3:29:58) and with Saudi Yazeed Al Rajhi third at 2'42” (3:32:13).
Al Rajhi at one point was leading, just 57secs ahead of Al Attiyah but the Qatari veteran closed in on the gap before surging ahead towards the end.
The route stretched over Morocco's famous stony tracks followed by beautiful and sumptuous landscapes of the Tassilis region.
Rally of Morocco is billed as a kind of test run for the historic Dakar Rally, but it's part of both the FIA Cross Country World Cup and the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship. The route covers nearly a total 1,666 miles of the Moroccan Sahara Desert and is being run by teams of drivers and riders from motorsport giants like Toyota Gazoo and Honda Racing among many others.
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