Al-Attiyah secures second WRC 2 title by 0.1s

Nasser Al-Attiyah sealed his second WRC 2 title by taking a closely-contested podium finish in penultimate rally of the season in Spain.

The 44-year-old Qatari kicked off the last day of Rally Catalunya in fourth, and needed to move into the top three to ensure his crown after main rival Esapekka Lappi crashed out on Saturday.

Al-Attiyah gained a spot when third place man Eric Camilli retired, but the Qatari himself was under pressure from Armin Kremer.

The German was only 0.1s behind before the Power Stage, but he never got the chance to fight the championship leader as the rally met a premature end due to Sebastien Ogier’s accident.

As a result, the stage was cancelled and Al-Attiyah took the crucial third place behind the dominant Swede Pontus Tidemand and Czech driver Jan Kopecky.

The difference between Al-Attiyah and Lappi is now 24 points, but both drivers have now contested their seventh rally of the season, which is the maximum amount each driver can take part in.

Yuriy Protasov, still eligible to race in Rally Wales, finished fifth to be only 22 points behind the leader, but the dropped score system will see him lose his worst result, which currently stands at fifth place.

As such, he cannot make up more than 15 points on Al-Attiyah.

The Qatari scored three victories in Mexico, Portugal and Australia and will not be dropping points, having suffered a retirement in Poland.

He became the first multiple champion of the category, where he claimed the title last year as well.

2015 also saw Al-Attiyah win the Dakar Rally, the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup and the Middle East Rally Championship.

Heading into the season finale, Protasov sits second, two and four points ahead of Lappi and Tidemand respectively, the latter also set to participate in Rally Wales.

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About this article
Series WRC
Event Rally de Espana
Drivers Nasser Al-Attiyah
Article type Breaking news