Qatar’s ace rally driver Nasser al-Attiyah and his French co-driver Matthieu Baumel were involved in an accident during the sixth stage of the Cyprus Rally Saturday.
The three-time Dakar champion went off road during the rally, with his Volkswagen Polo GTi catching fire after the incident. Later, al-Attiyah confirmed he and Baumel were safe while posting a video of the burning car on his social media account.
Al-Attiyah and co-driver Matthieu Baumel are out of the Cyprus Rally after the incident that caused a bush fire and the stage had be cancelled.
The timely and effective intervention of the security and firefighting teams of the organisers, the Department of Forests and the Fire Service prevented the spread of the bush fire. Al-Attiyah and Baumel were in good health but the damage to the car was severe and they could not continue the rally.
Meanwhile, Qatar's Nasser Khalifa al-Atya and co-driver Ata al-Hmoud achieved the 15th position driving Ford Fiesta R5 in the rally -- which is the fourth round of Middle East Rally Championship. Nasser Saadon al-Kuwari and the Kuwaiti driver Meshari Althefiri finished 3rd in the MERC2 category.
Local favourites Alexandros Tsouloftas and Stelios Elia lead the rally after five stages with their countrymen Simos Galatariotis and Antonis Ioannou in second. Galatariotis and Ioannou won four of the five special stages yesterday but were handed a one-minute penalty, which demoted them to second place.
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