Two last outings for the new All-Terrain tyre before the 2009 Dakar
Following its introduction in the course of 2008, BFGoodrich's new All -Terrain tyre - which won July's Baja Espana- is to make its final competitive appearances this year on Portugal's Baja Portalegre 500 and on the UAE Desert Challenge (United Arab Emirates) which both take place at the end of October/early November.
FIA CROSS-COUNTRY RALLY WORLD CUP (ROUND 4 of 4)
UAE DESERT CHALLENGE
October 25-31, 2008
Nasser Al-Attiyah (BMW/BFGoodrich) targeting a second title
Having already sewn up this year's International Baja Cup, Qatar -based Nasser All-Attiyah stands a chance of securing the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup on this weekend's UAE Desert Challenge. His BMW X3 CC will be equipped with BFGoodrich's new All -Terrain tyre.
The traditional end-of-season fixture takes place in the sand and heat of the United Arab Emirates, and is based in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The 2008 event features a total route length of 2,197km, including 1,520km divided into six competitive stages. The finish ceremony will be held in Dubai on Friday October 31.
In the absence of works entries from Mitsubishi (committed to the Baja Portalegre) and Volkswagen, the BMW/BFGoodrich team stands out as favourite with its number one driver Nasser Al-Attiyah who will be running on the All-Terrain tyre. The Qatar-based driver stands to add a second title to his 2008 record after a score of four wins helped him secure the International Baja Cup earlier in the season. "Nasser likes the way the new BFGoodrich All-Terrain performs and he gave it its first win on the Baja Espana," points out BFGoodrich Rally-Raid Technician Dominique Bravy who will be in the United Arab Emirates to advise BFGoodrich's driver -partners and analyse the All-Terrain's performance.
"Nasser Al-Attiyah's BMW X3 CC will run on All-Terrains, while the car of Russia's Leonid Novistski will be equipped with the Rock T/A tyre. This will enable us to make a direct comparison between the two products on long sandy stages in extreme heat."
Following the first three rounds, three BFGoodrich drivers (Alphand, De Villiers and Housieaux) currently share first place in the provisional 2008 World Cup standings. However, none of them will be making the trip out to the United Arab Emirates.
INTERNATIONAL CUP FOR CROSS-COUNTRY BAJAS (round 6 of 6)
BAJA PORTALEGRE 500
October 30 - November 2, 2008
Mitsubishi Racing Lancer/BFGoodrich to make its official debut
After celebrating the final competitive outing of the Pajero Evo with a win on last month's PAX Rally, Mitsubishi will be making its first appearance with the new Racing Lancer on the Baja Portalegre, round six of the 2008 International Baja Cup. The newcomer will be driven by Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel
The 22nd Baja Portalegre 500 will start in Portalegre, in central Portugal, on Friday October 31, and the programme features four stages of between 100km and 240km in length (with the exception of SS1 which is a super-special) before the finish on Sunday November 2. The Mitsubishi team has chosen to contest this event to finalise its preparations for the 2009 Dakar following a long test session in Morocco in October.
"It rained heavily in the Erfoud region where we were testing, and the tracks were damp," reports BFGoodrich Rally-Raid Technician Dominique Bravy who was in Morocco. "The four Mitsubishi drivers took turns at the wheel of the Racing Lancer which ran on the new All-Terrain tyre. Despite the conditions, the tests were very positive."
The Baja Portalegre regulations permit drivers to use two types of tyre, and Stephane Peterhansel will be able to choose between the new All-Terrain and the Rock T/A. "His choice will be dictated by the weather: if the stages are dry, he will probably favour the All-Terrain. If the conditions are wet, however, he could opt for the Rock T/A, a product with which he is very familiar."
These two events provide BMW, Mitsubishi and BFGoodrich with a final chance to prepare for January's Dakar which takes place in Argentina and Chile. The BFGoodrich teams will nominate their tyre choices for the event early in November and these products will be trucked to the French port of Le Havre at the end of the month for onward shipment to South America.
BFGOODRICH RALLY-RAID NEWS
Christian Lavieille and BFGoodrich win in Egypt
A second consecutive win for motorcycling's former Endurance World Champion Christian Lavieille (Nissan/BFGoodrich) on Eygpt's Rallye des Pharaons (October 4-12).
As usual, the Rallye des Pharaons took place to the backdrop of some breathtaking scenery and, for the second year running, was won by BFGoodrich's partner Team Dessoude. Christian Lavieille/Michel Polato, who competed in a Nissan prototype running BFGoodrich Rock T/A tyres, took the trophy at the special prize-giving ceremony in front of the pyramids. Christian Lavieille also finished on the podium of last May's Rallye de Tunisie.