1630hrs, 07 November, 2021

Competitor comments after Stage 1: Ruler’s Representative Court Al Dhafrah Region

Autos

200      Nasser Al Attiyah / Mathieu Baumel (QAT / AND)

“It was exciting and I think we did a good job today. For sure, it was an amazing run.

“Our goal is to win the race and win more points. After today, we know where we are, and we can plan for tomorrow.”

201      Yazeed Al Rajhi / Michael Orr (SAU / GBR)

“Today we had some technical problems and also a small crash. But overall, it was a good start to the rally.”

701      Martin Prokop / Viktor Chytka (CZE / CZE)

“It’s very good to be testing a car with the 2022 set-up and the big wheels. It was a very nice day with some soft sand that helped us open up the route for the cars.

“The new set-up works and feels good inside the car.”

203      Denis Krotov / Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS / RUS)

“Today was an okay day for us. I am still learning a bit about the car. It’s a bit hot here, so let’s see how it goes tomorrow.”

204      Jakub Przygonski / Timo Gottschalk (POL / DEU)

“The first day was quite tough with a very different terrain – from hard stones to soft sand. It has been nice to race again, and this is a great preparation for Dakar.”

400      Austin Jones / Gustavo Gugelmin (USA / BRA)

“This is my first time in Abu Dhabi, so we wanted to be careful and see how the dunes were. We were pretty conservative on some of the drops, and we had some scary moments. But it was a good day overall.

“You’ve can’t be too ambitious in this desert, and you’ve got to give it a lot of respect.”

704      Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi / Wouter Rosegaar (ARE / NLD)

“The car is okay and the sand is just okay. It needs much work on it – from suspension through to cooling. We had to keep backing off on the power.”

705      Guillaume De Mevius / Tom Colsoul (BEL / BEL)

“This is not such a good day for us as we rolled the car. Our team-mates stopped to help, and then got stuck in the sand. That cost us an hour. It’s a brand-new car and it’s running well.”

214      Fernando Alvarez / Xavier Panseri (ARG / FRA)

“It was a good day with no mistakes. The car was perfect and we start to learn how to read the dunes. So, we will see in which parts we need to push every day.

“The sun was sharp, so it was hard to navigate in some parts. But that’s okay as we still have four days to go. Let’s see what happens.”

212      Cristina Gutierrez / Francois Cazalet (SPA / FRA)

“The driving was very easy, but I was not very happy with the power. But, this isn’t enough, so I need our mechnaics to work on that.”

206      Victor Khoroshavtsev / Anton Nikolaev (RUS / RUS)

“I was watching over my team-mates today to see that we were all safe. So, it was an okay day.

“These dunes can sneak up on you, and there are some dangerous spots. But, it’s so much fun. Hopefully, we can be in the top ten.”