X-RAID TEAM SURVIVES PUNISHING MOROCCAN STAGE INTO OUARZAZATE WITH CHICHERIT IN EIGHTH PLACE * Consistent stage finishes for Spain's Monterde and Brazil's Nobre * Al-Attiyah leads early in stage but suffers delays; ...
X-RAID TEAM SURVIVES PUNISHING MOROCCAN STAGE INTO OUARZAZATE WITH CHICHERIT IN EIGHTH PLACE
* Consistent stage finishes for Spain's Monterde and Brazil's Nobre
* Al-Attiyah leads early in stage but suffers delays; Kleinschmidt delayed
OUARZAZATE, Morocco -- The X-Raid Team arrived in the Moroccan oasis town of Ouarzazate holding eighth position in the overall standings, courtesy of another consistent stage time for Frenchman Guerlain Chicherit.
Team mate Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah was running as the fastest car on the road in the early kilometres of the stage, only to lose vital time with technical problems. Spaniard Carlos Sainz continues to lead the event from team mate Giniel de Villiers.
Chicherit and co-driver Matthieu Baumel had slipped two places to ninth at the start of the fourth stage and were ninth at the second passage control on the day's stage. But the stage ended with eight being the Frenchman's lucky number. He was eighth in the stage and now lies eighth overall after a measured drive.
"It was not so easy today with the dust," said Chicherit. "You cannot push when it is like this. You need to take care and avoid mistakes."
Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and French co-driver Alain Guehennec slipped a place to 10th overall at the start of the fourth leg into Ouarzazate. At the 90km point on the day's stage, Al-Attiyah was the fastest driver, the Qatari using his experience of gravel WRC-type stages to seize the initiative for the X-Raid team. But he was badly delayed soon afterwards.
Al-Attiyah lost 32 minutes before the PC and slipped to 52nd position in the timings at the first passage control point. But he recovered strongly to record the unofficial 18th fastest time and only slipped two places to 12th overall.
German Kleinschmidt and Swedish co-driver Tina Th