Attiyah wins Spain Baja event as Saudi’s Obaidan and UAE’s Mirza make marks - GulfToday

Attiyah wins Spain Baja event as Saudi’s Obaidan and UAE’s Mirza make marks


Mashael Al Obaidan congratulates Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah after the race.

Gulf Today Report

The Arab nations hogged the limelight as Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah won the Baja Spain Aragon while Mashael Al Obaidan became the first Saudi Arabian female driver to  complete a European Baja round with Emirati co-driver Ali Mirza on Saturday.

Attiyah returned to the cross country rally for the first time since May. He managed to snatch a late win as there was a little wobble before he crossed the checkered flag.

Attiyah lost time to French driver Sebastien Loeb during the early part and looked set to heading be for a second-place finish.

But, as the luck would have it, his rival dropped a vital 14 minutes with power steering issues and finished seventh overall.

Attiyah suffered tyre wear on the abrasive surfaces in the high temperatures and duly recorded his fourth Spanish Baja success after wining in 2008, 2016 and 2017.

It was his third success with Toyota.

Meanwhile, Obaidan had taken part in several national-category events and Bajas in her native Saudi Arabia. But she adapted well to the meet the challenge of the Spanish terrain and finished eighth in the FIA T3 category at the event.

Obaidan overcame the treacherously muddy conditions and a difficult water splash.

She also braved the harsh weather on the first day. She drove over rocky rural terrain on day two to reach the finish in a time of 9hr 27min 45sec.

The event as won by Spaniard Roberto Rodrigues, who pipped Ronald Basso and Santiago Navarro.

South Racing Middle East’s Scott Abraham lauded the performance of the Saudi driver, saying: "This was a great debut for Mashael as it was her first international event outside the ME region. It was a definite positive step on her road to Dakar as she showed great skills here.”

Obaidan after finishing the demanding opening stage in two-wheel drive after a transmission issue, said that  it was a completely new landscape for her.

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