27 setembro 2012

Al-Attiyah de buggy com motor Chevy V8 em 2013?

We have learned that Nasser Al-Attiyah will drive a buggy built by his own team on the 2013 Dakar. He also intends to compete in a number of cross-country rallies next year and focus on qualifying for the Rio Olympic Games, even if that means taking part in fewer WRC events. Nasser Al-Attiyah is one of only two of the 12 Qatari athletes who qualified for the London Olympics to have won a medal. This weekend marks his return to the WRC at the wheel of his Citroën DS3 WRC/Michelin. He clearly prefers gravel to asphalt, however, since he was already 2m37s behind the leader after today’s first three stages. 

In his defence, he hasn’t driven competitively since May’s Acropolis Rally. Nasser made statements to a rally publication that he intends to take part in the 2013 Dakar in a buggy that is being built by his own team which is based in California, USA. For the moment, the staff comprises around 30 people and the project is backed by Qatar and Red Bull. The team will run two buggies, although the driver of the second car has yet to be confirmed. “But why not Carlos Sainz,” suggested Nasser himself. 

The two buggies will be powered by a seven-litre Chevy V8 engine and the lightweight machines will benefit from longer suspension travel and an electro-pneumatic system that can adjust tyre pressures from the cockpit, which is ideal when switching from rocky ground to sand dunes. The Qatari also told us that he would like to compete on BFGoodrich rubber. For 2013, he could well take part in fewer WRC events and contest a few more cross-country rallies. He will also start shooting again in a bid to qualify for the Olympic Games for the sixth time, in Rio, in 2016.

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