World Cup title contenders Nasser Al-Attiyah and Matthieu Baumel obtain taken an early lead in the Rallye du Maroc, the supreme and decisive round of the FIA World Cup for Base Nation Rallies. The Toyota Hilux duo claimed the stage obtain by two minutes and 39 seconds over the Century Racing CR6 crew of Mathieu Serradori/Fabian Lurquin. Giniel de Villiers and Alex Haro took third, giving Toyota two of the pause three positions after the first of five nerve-racking legs.

Staring from Fes, this day’s opener took in a tricky 226-kilometre portion to the bivouac in Erfoud over mountainous and stony terrain, which resulted in a string of punctures for many of the contenders. Al-Attiyah, who’s bidding for a fifth World Cup title and a sixth consecutive obtain in Morocco, blueprint the early tempo and the Qatari became once chuffed alongside with his day irrespective of a puncture 100 kilometres into the stage. “We had a right day with out a mistakes on navigation, the auto and tyres had been very staunch, nonetheless it became once no longer easy, and to beginning the boulevard too,” he acknowledged.

A blinding second quickest time by map of the stage went to Serradori with South African de Villiers finishing much less than a minute adrift in third. “It became once a tricky stage, very twisty with many of rocks so we had to acquire a look at out,” acknowledged the Toyota driver, a 3-time winner of Rallye du Maroc. “We had a quite successfully-organized scurry on this one as we didn’t push too no longer easy as it became once in truth easy to rep a puncture.”

Stéphane and Andrea Peterhansel maintain fourth in a single day, irrespective of using on a delaminated tyre for the supreme 30 kilometres. “The tyre then destroyed the bodywork on the left rear, nonetheless we carried on irrespective of brilliant we’d lose a while,” acknowledged the lead MINI driver, the opposite contender in the fight for the title.

Bernhard ten Brinke and Tom Colsoul had been one more to assemble a puncture en route to fifth in the stage. “It became once rather a superior stage, nonetheless the initiate became once tough on tyres and the driver,” acknowledged the Dutchman. “We had staunch tempo and a puny navigation concern, nonetheless overall I’m rather chuffed.”

Martin Prokop and Jan Tománek brought their Ford Raptor RS Base Nation to the originate in sixth, kindly over 9 minutes adrift of the lead having been delayed by low gas rigidity. “It became once a extraordinarily staunch stage and became once going successfully with us operating shut to the pause three, unless the auto stopped,” acknowledged the Czech driver. “We tried to carry on and then it took living all over again and loads of of cars passed us. Within the pause I’m no longer chuffed as we had been sturdy and it’ll also had been absolute most sensible.”

Erik van Loon/Sebastian Delaunay performed seventh in a Hilux Overdrive, the Dutch/French pairing shedding time serving to fellow Toyota competitor Yazeed Al Rajhi. “We had three punctures and easiest two spares,” acknowledged the Saudi driver who overnights 10th. “We waited for 15 minutes, saw Erik [van Loon] and he gave us one of his tyres, so due to him.”

“We always exhaust care of our teammates,” added van Loon. “Till then it became once very staunch, nonetheless we clearly misplaced the time and then had two punctures of our maintain.”

Carlos Sainz, double FIA World Rally Champion and a old winner of the FIA World Cup for Base Nation Rallies, became once one more to fight with punctures. He and Lucas Cruz exhaust eighth in a single day. “We had three punctures and easiest two spares, so had to re-utilize one of them,” acknowledged the Spaniard.

Aron Domzala/Maciej Marton performed kindly earlier than Al Rajhi in ninth to steer the T3 crews in their Can-Am Maverick X3.

Fernando Alonso, two-time FIA System One and present FIA World Persistence Champion, is competing in his first world depraved country rally and the Spaniard, co-driven by extra than one Dakar biker winner Marc Coma, had a tricky opening day nonetheless reached the pause of the first leg in 21st living. “It became once tough and the initiate screech became once a nightmare for us with zero visibility,” acknowledged Alonso on the originate. “We had three punctures and one of many opposite cars did us a favour and gave us a spare wheel. It’s chase to originate. It’s been about learning and optimistically tomorrow we are in a position to acquire a bigger stage.”

Reigning FIA World Cup for Base Nation Rallies Champion Jakub Przygonski had a disastrous stage, he and co-driver Timo Gottschalk combating brake and tyre considerations. They dropped to 28th. Nani Roma became once one more to hit unconfirmed considerations in his Borgward, the Spaniard dropped practically two hours to the leaders.

Sunday’s second leg takes the crews into the sand and dunes for a 386-kilometre portion looping inner and exterior of the Erfoud bivouac.

Photo: @DPPI / Julien Delfosse

Rallye du Maroc – Provisional outcomes after Leg 1 (18: 34 hrs local)


Nasser Al-Attiyah/Matthieu Baumel

Toyota Hilux

3hr 13min 09sec


Mathieu Serradori/Fabian Lurquin

Century Racing CR6

3hr 15min 48sec


Giniel de Villiers/Alex Haro

Toyota Hilux

3hr 16min 23sec


Stéphane Peterhansel/Andrea Peterhansel

MINI John Cooper Works Buggy

3hr 18min 23sec


Bernhard Ten Brinke/Tom Colsoul

Toyota Hilux

3hr 21min 02sec


Martin Prokop/Jan Tománek

Ford Raptor RS Base Nation

3hr 22min 23sec


Erik van Loon/Sébastien Delaunay

Toyota Hilux Overdrive

3hr 26min 13sec


Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz

MINI John Cooper Works Buggy

3hr 28min 12sec


Aron Domzala/Maciej Marton

Can-Am Maverick X3

3hr 36min 20sec


Yazeed Al Rajhi/Michael Orr

Toyota Hilux Overdrive

3hr 37min 05sec


Fernando Alonso/Marc Coma

Toyota Hilux

3hr 58min 04sec

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