Qatar's defending FIA World Cup champion Nasser bin Saleh al Attiyah and Poland's talented young driver Aron Domzala will represent Overdrive Racing in this weekend's Veszpr`m-based Hungarian Baja, Round Eight of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies.
Attiyah arrives in Central Europe with a commanding lead in this year's championship after claiming victories in Dubai, Qatar, Kazakhstan and Spain with his French co-driver Matthieu Baumel and Overdrive's all-conquering V8-engined Toyota Hilux.
The Qatari has won the Hungarian Baja on three occasions (2008, 2014 and 2015) and gave Overdrive Racing their first and only victory in 2014. But Toyotas prepared by the Belgian team have graced the podium in three of the last four seasons: Venezuela's Nunzio Coffaro finished third in 2013 and Dutchman Bernhard Ten Brinke was runner-up in 2015.
Poland's Aron Domzala lost ground on his fellow FIA World Cup title contenders after incurring a time penalty following a tyre fire in Spain and the Pole and navigator Maciej Marton finished out of the points in 12th position. But Domzala is keen to hit back on the Hungarian round of the series and still has his eye on a top three championship finish.
Overdrive Racing's CEO Jean-Marc Fortin said:"This is another important Baja round of the FIA World Cup in Europe and one that is important to both Nasser and Aron for different reasons. Victory for Nasser would put him into a very strong position to regain his FIA World Cup title and Aron is keen to bounce back with a podium finish."
The event is being staged by the Garzone Racing Organisation Pronotion Limited in conjunction with the FIA and the National Automobilsport Federation of Hungary (MNASZ).
After technical scrutineering and administration on Thursday, the event gets underway with a ceremonial start in 'd3v'e1ros Square in Veszpr`m on Friday evening after crews have tackled a shakedown stage earlier in the day and a short 11.41km super special stage from 6pm.
The second leg on Saturday (August 12) consists of two selective sections of 136.6km apiece, starting at 08.30hrs and 13.20hrs respectively. Two further timed stages of 103.2km take place on Sunday from 08.10hrs and 12.10hrs to bring the competitive action to a conclusion. The event will be centred around the nearby Buda West airport.
Standings FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies
(After round 7, unofficial)
1. Nasser bin Saleh al Attiyah (QAT) 180pts
2. Jakub Przygonski (POL) 120pts
3. Khalid Al-Qassimi (ARE) 105pts
4. Yasir Saeidan (SAU) 93pts
5. Mohammed Abu Issa (QAT) 84pts
6. Aron Domzala (POL) 76pts
7. Martin Prokop (CZE) 54pts
8. Leeroy Poulter (ZAF) 40pts
9. Miroslav Zapletal (CZE) 37pts, etc