Al-Attiyah snatches late WRC 2 lead
Qatari driver edges ahead of Yazeed Al Rajhi in final stage
He won by 1min 50.4sec from Jari Ketomaa after a rallylong duel with Yazeed Al Rajhi ended when the Saudi Arabian driver retired from the lead after a branch pierced the radiator of his Ford Fiesta RRC.
The win moved Al-Attiyah, also in a Fiesta RRC, to within eight points of series leader Lorenzo Bertelli, who finished fourth. Ketomaa’s fifth runner-up placing of the season means the Finn is only three points from top spot.
Al Rajhi and Al-Attiyah swapped places throughout the rally and Al Rajhi had just regained the lead when he retired in Sunday’s second stage. Having suffered radiator damage he was looking for somewhere to stop when his car clipped a tree and broke the rear suspension.
Ketomaa survived a roll in his Fiesta R5 on Saturday evening to finish 46.6sec ahead of Yuriy Protasov, with Bertelli just 26.0sec behind. Subhan Aksa was fifth.
Ott Tänak’s troubled rally continued. The Drive DMACK driver suffered intermittent turbo boost problems before crashing heavily in the penultimate stage. He and co-driver Raigo Mölder were taken to hospital for precautionary checks.
Consolation for the team came with confirmation that it has won the WRC 2 teams' championship (pictured below).
Max Rendina was the only entrant in the Production Cup within WRC 2 and took full points to extend his lead.