Sunderland, Al-Attiyah and Van den Brink win OiLibya Rally
No drama like in the earlier stages in the OiLibya Morocco Rally. All leaders kept it together today and kept their overall leads until the finish. The closest battle was for the stage win in the truck category. Ales Loprais beat Martin van den Brink after 237 kilometers by only one second.
Sam Sunderland started the day with Matthias Walkner 4'21 behind and Pablo Quintanilla 5'16. On the live timing screens during stage five things got very interesting. Walkner took the lead at the first checkpoint with Sunderland and Quintanilla nowhere to be seen. Furter on Paulo Goncalves set the fastest checkpoint times and eventually taking the stage win.
And at the finish it turned out Sunderland had a timing device that did not work. He finished fourth at 3'47 behind closest rival Walkner, which left him 34 seconds margin to claim the overall victory over the Austrian. Paulo Goncalves finished the rally as third overall. In the meantime it also became clear Quintanilla had crashed and was out of the race.
With his seccond place in Morocco Matthias Walker could be crowned as winner of th 2015 FIM Cross-Countries World Championship
In the car category overall leader Nasser Al-Attiyah could take it relatively easy with number two Al-Rajhi over 16 minutes behind. The two Toyotas of Bernhard ten Brinke and Giniel the Villiers took the opportunity to battle for the stage win. After Erik van Loon had set the fastest time at the first checkpoint, Bernhard ten Brinke got the upperhans at the second, followed by The Villiers with Van Loon falling back to sixth.
The South African than had the better last 60 kilometers ending up with the stage win and a 50 second margin to the Dutchman. Vladimir Vasilyev took third place.
Overall Nasser All-Attiyah, who came in eight-fastest today, took the rally victory and also the second FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies title in a row with his co-pilot Matthieu Baumel. Yazeed Al-Rahji and Vladimir Vasilyev could climb the second and third step on the podium.
The stage today was a thriller for the win, although it could only be found at at the finish. As every day the timing device of Martin van den Brink was not working and no split times were available. Ales Loprais won his third stage today and the fourth for the Iveco De Rooy team. The Czech beat Martin van den Brink by just one second for the day, but could not prevent the Renault-driver from taking the overall win in the OiLibya Morocco Rally 2015.
Ales Loprais joined Van den Brink at the second step of the podium. A suprising third place at the finish podium was for Argentinean Federico Villagra, who drove his first rally-raid in a truck.