Monday | 09 Mar 2015

Al-Attiyah starts title defence with Mexico win

Nasser Al-Attiyah started the defence of his WRC 2 title in perfect fashion on Sunday by cruising to victory at Rally Guanajuato Mexico by almost eight minutes.

The Qatari, driving a Ford Fiesta Regional Rally Car, started the final leg with a massive advantage following the retirement of leader Yurii Protasov yesterday and took no risks to secure maximum points.

Protasov held a narrow lead over Al-Attiyah until yesterday afternoon when the Ukrainian went off the road and damaged his Fiesta RRC’s radiator.

“We had a good fight all week but we were very clever. Conditions were tough and I used my head. This was Matthieu’s (co-driver Baumel) first time in WRC and he did a really good job,” said Al-Attiyah.

Peru’s Nicolas Fuchs finished second in a Fiesta R5, despite breaking his car’s anti-roll bar today. He held off DMACK’s Jari Ketomaa by 21.2sec, but third was sufficient to give the Finn a clear lead in the championship standings.

“I was disappointed to drop to third with a broken driveshaft yesterday but it’s still good points on the board and now we lead the championship,” said Ketomaa.

Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari was fourth in another Fiesta RRC, while Protasov recovered to fifth. Max Rendina completed the top six and won the Production Cup in a Mitsubishi Lancer after Simone Tempestini retired his Subaru Impreza in the final stage.

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