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Disappointed Al Attiyah promises to fight back

Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah

Bengaluru/Doha, April 24: A disappointed Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah has vowed to fight back after suffering engine issues and retiring on the final day of the fourth round of FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies at home in Qatar.

Heading into the final day of racing, the home hero, who was the firm favourite from day one, held a favourable 15-minute advantage over Poland's off-road ace Kuba Przygonski. The Qatari looked all set to win his home race for the sixth time in the last seven years.

Misfortune then struck the Toyota Hilux of Al Attiyah and his French navigator Mathieu Baumel in the latter stages of the final day's racing. The leading duo found themselves out of the race due to suffering terminal engine issues. The incident opened the door for Przygonski to take the win.

"We had a small issue with the engine on the third and fourth days, but we tried to keep going. Suddenly, on the final day, we had an oil pressure alarm and we stopped immediately. We finished at 210km I think. When we saw the alarm it was over," said Al Attiyah, who had won five of the six previous races held in Qatar.

Over to Kazakh

Over to Kazakh

The FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies continues with the seven-day Rally Kazakhstan starting on May 27.

Defending champion Al Attiyah had won the opening round in Russia and skipped the next rounds in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. He has just 30 points in his kitty from the opening round win and is now lying fifth overall in the standings.

Surprise leader

Surprise leader

But he has promised to fight back.

"This is rally. This is a new car. We'll bounce back," the Qatari, who is a two-time Dakar Rally champion said.

The surprise win puts Przygonski on the top of the leader board with 144 points.

Winning margin

Winning margin

"We're so happy. It was a really tough race from the beginning with the navigation and the terrain. We had no big problems during any of the five stages. Sad for Nasser, but this is motorsport. This can happen always," said Przygonski,who had a winning margin of 40min 13sec.

Wide open

Wide open

Al Attiyah's misfortune has suddenly thrown the championship wide open. Martin Propok is second now with 113 points closely followed by Vladimir Vasilyev, who is just two points adrift. Saudi Arabia's Yasir Saedan is fourth overall with 58th

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Story first published: Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 14:28 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 24, 2018
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