Nasser Al-Attiyah was the star of the show at the 2013 Dakar Rest Day in Tucuman as the Qatari driver spent the day posing for photos and signing gifts for fans.
Nasser was surrounded by supporters of his Qatar Red Bull Rally Team project as he made his way around the bivouac with a smile and a few words for everyone. The 2011 Dakar Rally champion greeted fans over a traditional Argentinian ‘Asado’ at the Red Bull Energy Lounge in the heart of the bivouac.
There was also time for Nasser to compare notes with seven-time Dakar champion Vladimir Chagin. The two legends of the Dakar came together in the cabin of a Team Kamaz truck along with Giniel De Villiers after Nasser had taken Vladimir for a look around his Buggy.
The climax of the day saw Nasser give a demonstration of the sharp shooting that won him a bronze medal in the men’s skeet shooting competition at the 2012 Olympics. This time Nasser put on an archery masterclass in front of the crowds as he showed his perfect sense of direction is not only restricted to the tracks of the Dakar.
Nasser’s relaxed nature belied the fact that he will be involved in a tense for battle for top spot when the Dakar recommences tomorrow. Nasser and co-driver Lucas Cruz will be out to cut the 3m 14s gap between themselves and race leader Stephane Peterhansel as Stage Nine travels from Tucuman to Cordoba.
While Nasser entertained the fans on the Rest Day, the mechanics of the Qatar Red Bull Rally Team had a full day to give the Buggy a complete tune-up. With no problems to report the Buggy has been given a clean bill of health ahead of the remaining 4000km route to Santiago.
Nasser Al-Attiyah: The Rest Day is always a busy time at the Dakar and today was no exception. I enjoy giving time to all the people who come to wish us luck with the project. When you are racing the Dakar you are only in these different places for such a short period of time. Tomorrow we are moving onto Cordoba so it is important for me to make time for the people who came to say hello today.
“The last piece of business on the Rest Day was to get the entire Qatar Red Bull Rally Team together. I wanted to thank them for all the work they have done so far to put us in this great position ahead of the second week. The response they gave back said everything I needed to know about the wonderful team I have behind me and the great things we can achieve at this race.”
Lucas Cruz (co-driver of Nasser Al-Attiyah): “The Rest Day is a longer day than racing a timed special stage. It’s nice to see so many people coming to visit us in the bivouac and checking out the Buggy. Now it’s time to get back into the race and prepare the roadbook for tomorrow. There are only six days of this rally remaining and we are supremely concentrated and motivated to get the best result we can.”