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2017 QCCR FIM HIGHLIGHTS 26

AL-ATTIYAH, SUNDERLAND AND SONIK CLINCH VICTORIES AT THE QATAR CROSS-COUNTRY RALLY · Second-placed finishes for Jakub Przygonski, Paulo Gonçalves and Alexis Hernandez · Final stage wins for Poland’s Przygonski, Chile’s Quintanilla and Peru’s Hernandez LOSAIL (Qatar): Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah , Dubai-based Sam Sunderland and Poland’s Rafal Sonik claimed outright victories in the car, motorcycle and quad categories after a gruelling five-day Qatar Cross-Country Rally drew to its conclusion at Losail on Saturday. Al-Attiyah and French navigator Matthieu Baumel began the final day with a lead of 5min 58sec over South Africa’soy Poulter and the Qatari pushed hard from the outset to catch the South African. The two Toyota Hilux drivers reached the finish in first and third overall, Poulter’s position belying the fact that he had never before competed in the Middle East and even though he got stuck in the last dunes on a lump of camel grass and missed out on second. The final stage of 343.32kmtarted near the fort at Al-Zubara on Qatar’s north-west coast and headed down the west of the country before turning inland to finish on Sealine beach, south of Doha, after a series of dune crossings near the end. Victories on the last stage fell to Poland’s Jakub Przygonski, Chile’s Pablo Quintanilla and Peru’s Alexis Hernandez in the car, bike and quad sections. “Today we tried to take care,” said Al-Attiyah. “We had a few problems. We try to fix and continue and then, in the last part, in the dunes, we have a puncture and we don’t have the jack working. We put the car on a small hill and we change it and it takes around four minutes. After that, we did good navigation and we catch everybody. It was important to win here. Everybody had some small problems today but this is a good result for my championship and it’s always nice to win at home.”