Argentine completes big fightback for Bahrain Raid Xtreme as Saudi’s Al Rajhi claims outright rally victory
Orly Terranova gave Bahrain Raid Xtreme a dramatic final stage victory in the Rallye du Maroc today after a tense battle with Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al Rajhi in the final round of the World Rally-Raid Championship.
Partnered by fellow-Argentine Bernardo Graue in his BRX Prodrive Hunter, Terranova produced the perfect finish to the event as he won the 152km final stage from Al Rajhi, who took the overall rally honours in his Toyota.
The stage win completed a superb recovery from Terranova, who had dropped from outright contention because of a second leg suspension problem, but bounced back with a second place finish on the previous stage.
There was little to choose between the two pace setters throughout the day, and Terranova, runner-up in Morocco last year, finally squeezed home by five seconds.
Sebastien Loeb took his BRX Prodrive Hunter to the fifth fastest time on the day alongside Fabian Lurquin, following yesterday’s agonising stage exit while just 29 seconds away from the rally lead.
The final stage included a run of almost 40km through the dunes. It was there that the battle for outright victory ended after just 28 kms, when the Audi of Stephane Peterhansel, 3 mins 49 secs behind Al Rajhi overnight, came to a halt.
Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah also came to a standstill in the dunes for a second day in his Toyota, but still retained his drivers’ title in the World Rally-Raid Championship, following victories in three previous rounds.
A delighted Terranova said at the finish, “The feeling was getting better and better each day. The win means a lot. It was a fantastic rally. We made one mistake, but we enjoyed it overall.”
Al Rajhi had a 34mins 17 secs winning margin from team-mate Denis Krotov in second place, with Nani Roma pulling off one of the big moves of the day to grab third place overall.