08 abril 2024

Victory in the bp Ultimate Rally-Raid Portugal gave Nasser Al-Attiyah the lead in the World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC), overtaking the previous leader, Carlos Sainz. The Qatari driver, navigated by Edouard Boulanger, scored 45 points in the ACP event and will be aiming for his third world title.

Sainz had won the Dakar, but didn't take part in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, won by Al-Attiyah. This made the bp Ultimate Rally-Raid Portugal a real showdown between two of the best and most famous drivers in the world.

The veteran Spanish driver, making his debut with the new X-Raid Mini, admitted right at the initial press conference that he wasn't planning to compete in the whole championship, but he was still tipped as a strong candidate for victory in the ACP event, not least because one of the stages would be held in Spain.

But Al-Attiyah was unstoppable throughout the week and it was the young João Ferreira who took on the role of main challenger to the two-time World Rally-Raid champion and five-time Dakar winner. João Ferreira's final push, however, was not enough to surprise Nasser Al-Attiyah, who won two stages and was very fast and consistent throughout the race.

As in the W2RC, winning a stage gives you five extra points, Al-Attiyah accumulated a total of 45 points, against João Ferreira's 34 - on his debut in the world's premier class - Lucas Moraes' 31 points and Sainz's 24 points.

Check out the W2RC standings after the third of five events on the calendar:

1. N. Al-Attiyah (Prodrive), 112 points

2. C. Sainz (Audi / Mini), 100

3. Y. Al-Rajhi (Toyota), 79

4. L. Moraes (Toyota), 76

5. G. Chicherit (Toyota), 69


10. J. Ferreira, 37 (Mini)


The next race will be the Desafío Ruta 40, from June 1 to 7, in Argentina.

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