The Dakar is on the way
X-raid's Racing Team laid notice of its intent to win the 2009 Dakar Rally, when Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Swedish co-driver Tina Thörner set the overall fastest time through the opening 371km special stages between Buenos Aires and Santa Rosa de la Pampa on Saturday.
The Qatari was the quickest driver on the course to the opening passage control and then inherited a lead that his team mate Guerlain Chicherit had held through the subsequent two passage controls, when the Frenchman lost his path in the dust, struck a hole and damaged the suspension on his BMW X3 CC.
Good opening for Volkswagen in the Dakar Rally: The Race Touaregs fill positions second to fourth after the first stage. On the opening day of the legendary cross country rally's debut in South America, Carlos Sainz/Michel Périn finished second behind Nasser Al-Attiyah/Tina Thörner. Giniel de Villiers/Dirk von Zitzewitz follow in third place in another Volkswagen only 23 seconds behind Sainz. Mark Miller/Ralph Pitchford completed Volkswagen's good team performance with fourth position on the stage from Buenos Aires to Santa Rosa in Argentina.
Mitsubishi started the challenge of getting its eighth consecutive victory in the Dakar with a cautious start on the first 371 Km special between Buenos Aires and Santa Rosa de la Pampa, in Argentina. Luc Alphand and his co-driver Gilles Picard, got the best result of the four Racing Lancer prepared by the Japanese team finishing 5th on the fisrt day. His teammates Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret were 6th, and Nani Roma and Lucas Cruz were 8th.