The 17th edition of Rally dos Sertoes probably will be decided only in its 10th - and final - stage. In the thrilling fight for the leadership of the competition, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Timo Gottschalk returned to stay in front of Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz - both compete with the Volkswagen Race Touareg 2 - to close the special this Tuesday (30), which traveled 240 kilometers in 2h37min16.

Leaving Barra, Bahia, and reaching Petrolina, in Pernambuco, the Rally dos Sertoes 2009 reached its fourth state of the country. At the end of the seventh stage of the competition, Al-Attiyah and Gottschalk are nearly two minutes ahead of two Spanish.

"Today was a very difficult day, especially the sand. Even as marathon, I think was the most difficult day of rally so far. But I'm very happy, for our performance and because we come back to leadership. Tomorrow I will do my best and it seems that the title will be decided only in Natal, "said Nasser. "The passage of the special today was closed and just enough dust into the radiators. I stopped three times to fix and just wasting time. I think the dispute can be decided only in the last step. The fight for leadership is exciting, "said Sainz.

Among the bikes, the Brazilian Ze Helio closed again in front of opponents. This Tuesday, the leader of the category also had luck.

"Today I walked a little more relaxed. I was saving the equipment, but was slower than in previous days. The Poles were faster, but ended up losing. Not expect close the day in front. I think the rally is very good, well structured, world-class, as was already happening in other editions. The organization is to be congratulated, "Ze Helio.

Carlo Collet closed the second day in succession on the front, but is still 40 minutes of Carlos Batista, who won the first five stages and is the leader of the category.

"It was a good marathon, was fine, no problem. The hope was that reducing the difference. I thought to decrease even more, but still three days to the end of the rally. Let's see what you make it, but we get to the end, "said Collet.

-credit: sertoes.com