Following the third leg of Qatar’s Sealine Cross Country Rally, MINI ALL4 Racing driver Khalifa Al Mutaiwei still holds third position in the overall standings, ahead of Jean-Louis Schlesser. Finishing fourth in today’s leg was enough for Al Mutaiwei (UAE) and his navigator Andreas Schulz (GER) for defending their lead over Schlesser. Meanwhile, the Russians Ilya Kuznetsov and Roman Elagin crossed the finish line in seventh position, with their BMW X3 CC.
Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al Rajhi and his Portuguese co-driver Filipe Palmeiro rolled their MINI ALL4 Racing and was forced into early retirement, due to the incident. Al Rajhi had won yesterday’s special stage and held second position in the overall standings.
Al Mutaiwei opted for a somewhat conservative approach for today’s penultimate leg to not lose time due to a puncture or other problems. Therefore, he had to settle for being only the fourth-fastest, today – but succeeded in keeping Schlesser, his toughest rival in the battle for the FIA World Cup title, at bay. Kuznetsov also completed the third special stage without encountering any problems.
Tomorrow, the field will have to contest the final 208.63-kilometre special stage.
Result leg 3:
1st N. S. Al-Attiyah (QAT)/L. Cruz Senra (ESP) Toyota Hilux – 3h 25m 40s
2nd J.-L. Schlesser (FRA)/K. Zlitstov (RUS) Schlesser Original – 3h 41m 26s
3rd L. Alvarez (ARG)/B. Graue (ARG) Toyota Hilux – 3h 42m 24s
4th K. Al-Mutaiwei (UAE)/A. Schulz (DEU) MINI ALL4 Racing – 3h 44m 34s
5th B. Gadasin (RUS)/D. Shchemel (RUS) G-Force Proto – 3h 59m 20s
6th P. Sireyjol (FRA)/F.-X. Beguin (BEL) SMG Buggy – 4h 06m 38s
7th I. Kusnetsov (RUS)/R. Elagin (RUS) BMW X3 CC – 4h 08m 42s
Overall standings after leg three:
1st N. S. Al-Attiyah (QAT)/L. Cruz Senra (ESP) Toyota Hilux – 9h 27m 38s
2nd L. Alvarez (ARG)/B. Graue (ARG) Toyota Hilux – 10h 13m 47s
3rd K. Al-Mutaiwei (UAE)/A. Schulz (DEU) MINI ALL4 Racing – 10h 14m 35s
4th J.-L. Schlesser (FRA)/K. Zlitstov (RUS) Schlesser Original – 10h 25m 16s
5th F. Al-Attiyah (QAT)/M. Baumel (FRA) Toyota HiLux – 6h 32m 51s
6th B. Gadasin (RUS)/D. Shchemel (RUS) G-Force Proto – 11h 05m 57s
7th I. Kusnetsov (RUS)/R. Elagin (RUS) BMW X3 CC – 11h 19m 16s