Motorsports Racing News & Blog Articles

Stay up-to-date with motorsports racing news, products, and trends from around the world.
13 minutes reading time (2685 words)

Nasser Al-Attiyah scores maiden win with Prodrive at Dubai International Baja

Nasser Al-Attiyah did not need long to get used to his new ride in the Prodrive Hunter, and was already a race winner in just his second start for the team.

His début with Prodrive at the Baja Portalegre 500, just two weeks after clinching the World Rally-Raid Championship in his final race for Toyota, was overshadowed by a penalty and lost time to a damaged windshield wiper in the mud of Portugal that relegated him to fifth. The Dubai International Baja, on the other hand, presented wide-open dunes akin to most rounds on the W2RC calendar like the Dakar Rally that gave him a chance to showcase the Hunter’s potential as he won the first two stages before being edged out by Yazeed Al-Rajhi in Stage #3.

Like in the W2RC, Al-Attiyah beat Al-Rajhi for the overall win by over five minutes. The victory also put the bow atop a dominant campaign in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, where Al-Attiyah never finished worse than second in his four Bajas for Toyota and had twice as many points as João Ferreira entering the finale in Dubai. It is his second Bajas title after 2008, while he became the first driver to win a World Cup with two different manufacturers as well as the first to complete the triple crown of a World Cup, World Championship, and Dakar Rally in the same year.

“We really enjoyed being in the car as we worked hard to make a good result for the team too,” said Al-Attiyah. “We learned a lot for the next step, the Dakar. Thank you to the team who got the car here and who have engineered it for us to take this win. It’s a great start to take this victory and get ready for Dakar and think we can make it in Saudi Arabia to win the Dakar in January.”

Ferreira won the T4 class in his first Baja in a Can-Am Maverick for South Racing ahead of European Cup T4 regular Amerigo Ventura. The former, who normally races Bajas in a Mini and intends to continue doing so for the 2024 Portuguese Cross-Country Championship, also won on début in the W2RC’s T4 class at the Rallye du Maroc in October.

Another João Ferreira (full name João Filipe Ferreira Miranda) was also victorious as he called the shots for Otávio Sousa Leite to win the T3 class in both the Dubai Baja and the World Cup. Mshari Al-Thefiri had led Sousa by twenty points going into the finale but was plagued by mechanical issues that forced him to retire and surrender the championship.

Sousa Leite’s father Cristiano de Sousa Batista finished second to him in Dubai, having already clinched the T4 World Cup with a dominant season as he won four races in a row.

“We came into the event with low expectations of becoming the champion. Turns out, all the bad luck throughout the year turned in our favour in this last race,” said Sousa Leite. “We won yesterday’s stage and today my dad secured another victory. Now, we are World Champions.”

Seth Quintero ran his first race as Al-Attiyah’s successor at Toyota Gazoo Racing. Despite the big shoes he had to fill and finishing at the bottom of the leaderboard due to a mechanical issue, he looked like a natural in the Toyota GR DKR Hilux T1+ with a run that included finishing less than a minute behind Al-Attiyah in Stage #2.

Aliyyah Koloc, the 2022 Middle East Cup for Cross-Country Bajas champion, finished tenth in a Red-Lined REVO T1+, marking her first time running an international rally in the top subcategory. The race had started on a bizarre note for Koloc as logistical issues resulted in a delay while shipping her REVO from South Africa to Dubai; according to father and Buggyra Racing principal Martin Koloc, both ships that they tried to move the vehicle on were delayed for two and three weeks each. The start was intended to provide her with more seat time ahead of her first Dakar in the Ultimate class.

“I think I need to be a bit more aggressive with it,” said Koloc. “For now, I feel I’m being too gentle, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Both events I have done so far with this car, here in Dubai and in South Africa, have definitely helped me grow as a driver, so I’m pleased about that, although we need to drive more in the desert to get more out of the car.”

The FIA’s Middle East Cup and FIM Bajas World Cup also concluded their seasons in Dubai, which became the final race for all three series following the cancellation of the Jordan Baja in response to the war in Gaza. The race was also the last for the World and Middle East Cups under their Cross-Country Bajas identities as they will be rebranded to the World Baja Cup and Middle East Baja Cup for 2024. The European Cup, the other Bajas series under FIA sanction, wrapped up its calendar in October.

Overall winners

T1200Nasser Al-AttiyahNasser Racing5:22:52.3
T2220Ibrahim Nasser AlmuhnaIbrahim Nasser Almuhna23:09:30.5
T3301Otávio Sousa LeiteSouth Racing Can-Am6:04:05.5
T4400João FerreiraSouth Racing Can-Am5:48:48.1
450cc2Mohammed Al-BalooshiMX Ride Dubai5:42:25.3
Quad105Abdulaziz AhliAbdulaziz Ahli6:34:23.1
FIM Junior76Jean-Loup LepanDUUST Diverse Racing5:53:53
FIM Veteran50Richard BrewerRichard Brewer6:23:38.5
FIM Woman20Esther MerinoEsther Merino9:03:52.5

Final FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas standings

World Cup


1Nasser Al-Attiyah187Leader
2Yazeed Al-Rajhi115– 72
3João Ferreira104– 83
4Juan Cruz Yacopini98– 89
5Krzysztof Hołowczyc75– 112
6Otávio Sousa Leite62– 125
7Cristiano de Sousa Batista61– 126
8Mshari Al-Thefiri51– 136
9Michał Małuszyński41– 146
10Dania Akeel34– 153
11Lucas Moraes33– 154
12Denis Krotov31– 156
T-13Fernando Alvarez Castellano28– 159
T-13Jeremie Warnia28– 159
15Guoyu Zhang27– 160
16João Dias26– 161
17Ronan Chabot23– 164
18Vaidotas Žala22– 165
T-19Armindo Araújo20– 167
T-19Amerigo Ventura20– 167
T-21Saleh Al-Saif19– 168
T-21Włodzimierz Grajek19– 168
T-23Pau Navarro17– 170
T-23Adam Thomelius17– 170
T-25Tiago Reis16– 171
T-25Kees Koolen16– 171
27Ricardo Ramilo15– 172
T-28Nani Roma14– 173
T-28Mattias Ekström14– 173
T-30Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari13– 174
T-30Nasser Al-Kuwari13– 174
32Miguel Barbosa11– 176
T-33Egidijus Valeiša9– 178
T-33Seth Quintero9– 178
T-35Rokas Baciuška8– 179
T-35Santiago Navarro8– 179
T-37Francisco Barreto7– 180
T-37Pedro Carvalho7– 180
T-37Andrea Lafarja7– 180
T-37Miroslav Zapletal7– 180
T-41Stefano Marrini6– 181
T-41Francisco Javier Rodriguez Hernandez6– 181
T-41Gareth Woolridge6– 181
T-44Michele Cinotto5– 182
T-44Guillaume de Mévius5– 182
T-44Alexandre Re5– 182
T-44Magdalena Zajac5– 182
T-48Tomas Mickus4– 183
T-48Paulo Rodrigues4– 183
T-48Aleksander Szustkowski4– 183
T-51Lionel Baud3– 184
T-51Nuno Madeira3– 184
T-51Piotr Otko3– 184
T-51Ronald Schoolderman3– 184
T-55František Brutovský2– 185
T-55Sebastián Halpern2– 185
T-55Csaba Miklós2– 185
T-55Romain Dumas2– 185


1Mathieu Baumel187Leader
2Timo Gottschalk115– 72
3Filipe Palmeiro104– 83
4Dani Oliveiras98– 89
5João Filipe Ferreira Miranda79– 108
6Łukasz Kurzeja75– 112
7Oriol Vidal59– 128
8Fuasto Mota53– 134
T-9Kaique Bentivoglio33– 154
T-9Julita Maluszinska33– 154
T-9Paulo Fiuza33– 154
12François Cazalet32– 155
13Konstantin Zhiltsov31– 156
T-14Xavier Panseri28– 159
T-14Loïc Minaudier28– 159
16Oriol Mena27– 160
T-17Gilles Pillot23– 164
T-17Taye Perry23– 164
T-19Luis Ramalho20– 167
T-19Mirko Brun20– 167
T-21Nasser Al-Kuwari19– 168
T-21Dominik Jazik19– 168
23Oskar Andersson17– 170
T-24Valter Cardoso16– 171
T-24Wouter Rosegaar16– 171
26Alex Haro Bravo14– 173
T-27Alexei Kuzmich13– 174
T-27Michael Metge13– 174
29Laurent Lichtleuchter11– 176
T-30Dmytro Tsyro9– 178
T-30Mindaugas Varža9– 178
T-30Dennis Zenz9– 178
T-33Szymon Gospodarczyk8– 179
T-33Robleto Nicoletti8– 179
T-33Adrien Metge8– 179
T-36Hector Garcia Chavez7– 180
T-36Romeu Martins7– 180
T-36Carlos Silva7– 180
T-36Marek Sýkora7– 180
T-40Boyd Dreyer6– 181
T-40Yoni Luis Pérez Curbelo6– 181
T-40Silvio Valentini6– 181
T-43Jakub Brzezinski5– 182
T-43Maurizio Dominella5– 182
T-43João Pedro Re5– 182
T-46Miguel Antonio4– 183
T-46Gonçalo Reis4– 183
T-46Darius Leskauskas4– 183
T-46Andrei Rudnitski4– 183
T-46Robin Szustkowski3– 184
T-51Lucie Baud3– 184
T-51José Janela3– 184
T-51Karolina Otko3– 184
T-51Pedro Re3– 184
T-51Makeren Salomons3– 184
T-56Bernardo Graue2– 185
T-56Petr Hauptmann2– 185
T-56Albert Horn2– 185
T-56Marc Solà Terradellas2– 185
T-56Max Delfino2– 185


1Overdrive Racing237Leader
2South Racing Can-Am177– 60
3X-raid Mini JCW Team165– 72
4GRallyTeam61– 176
5FN Speed Team59– 178
6Sports Racing Technologies49– 188


1Otávio Sousa Leite148Leader
2Mshari Al-Thefiri129– 19
3Dania Akeel104– 44
4Fernando Alvarez Castellano89– 59
5João Dias69– 79
6Kees Koolen59– 89
7Armindo Araújo51– 97
8Guillaume de Mévius40– 108
9Saleh Al-Saif38– 110
T-10Cristiano de Sousa Batista33– 115
T-10Egidijus Valeiša33– 115
12Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari32– 116
13Adam Thomelius27– 121
14Nasser Al-Kuwari25– 123
T-15João Monteiro24– 124
T-15Mattias Ekström24– 124
T-17Andrea Lafarja19– 129
T-17Hector Diego Joaquin Martinez19– 129
T-19Tomas Mickus18– 130
T-19Santiago Navarro18– 130
21Erik Van Loon17– 131
T-22Pedro Carvalho16– 132
T-22Paulo Rodrigues16– 132
T-24Lionel Baud14– 134
T-24Piotr Otko14– 134
26Csaba Miklós12– 136
T-27Rashia Jima Al-Muhannadi11– 137
T-27Alexandre Re11– 137
T-29Andrea Castagnera9– 139
T-29Laia Sanz9– 139
31Anja Van Loon8– 140
T-32Ahmad Al-Muhannadi7– 141
T-32Filipe Cameirinha7– 141
T-32Miklos Trebitsch7– 141
T-35Benjamin Favre6– 142
T-35Edgar Reis6– 142
T-37Jean-Luc Ceccaldi5– 143
T-37Laurent Poletti5– 143
T-39Nelson Beiro4– 144
T-39Christophe Cresp4– 144
T-41Jedidia Favre3– 145
T-41Daniel Silva3– 145
T-41Mitch Guthrie3– 145
T-44Romain Locmane2– 146
T-44Pedro Ruivo2– 146



1Cristiano de Sousa Batista192Leader
2Jérémie Warnia132– 60
3Ricardo Ramilo104– 88
4Pau Navarro95– 97
5Amerigo Ventura67– 125
6Stefano Marrini58– 134
7João Ferreira40– 152
8Francisco Javier Rodriguez Hernandez39– 153
9Alexander Josef Toril Boquoi35– 157
10Sean Haran33– 159
11Luis Henderson32– 160
12Michele Cinotto24– 168
13Eduard Pons23– 169
T-14Dario de Lorenzo22– 170
T-14João Paula22– 170
16Aleksander Szustkowski19– 173
17Krzysztof Wicentowicz17– 175
18Patrycja Brochocka15– 177
T-19Federico Mogni13– 179
T-19Pietro Cinotto13– 179
21Carlos Vento Sanchez12– 180
22Adrien Choblet9– 183
23Rebecca Busi8– 184
24Heathcliff Zingraf3– 189
25Jean-Luc Ceccaldi2– 190


1South Racing Can-Am195Leader
2FN Speed Team97– 98

Final FIA Middle East Cup for Cross-Country Bajas standings

Middle East Cup


1Khaled Ahmed Alferaihi74Leader
2Hamad Nasser Alharbi45– 29
3Salem Aldhafeeri41– 33
4Yasir Seaidan40– 34
5Ahmed Alkuwari38– 36
6Aliyyah Koloc35– 39
7Atif Alzarouni34– 40
8Ibrahim Nasser Al-Muhna33– 41
9Ahmed Abdullah Al-Shegawi28– 46
10Maha Mohammed Hamali27– 47
11Adel Abdulla25– 49
T-12Abdullah Ahmed Alshegawi23– 51
T-12Mohammed Almeer23– 51
14Josef Macháček20– 54
15Mario Franco19– 55
16Nouef Hassan Al-Sowaidi15– 59
17Abdulla Ali Al-Khelaifi13– 61
18Saeed Almouri11– 63
19Mohammed An Al-Atteya5– 69
20Abdulla Al-Rabban4– 70


1Sébastien Delaunay74Leader
2Dmytro Tsyro64– 10
3Marc Serra Jové45– 29
4Alexey Kuzmich40– 34
5Manuel Luchesse38– 36
6Riaan Greyling35– 39
7Patrick McMurren34– 40
8Ali Hasan Obaid26– 48
9Waleed Saleh Alshegawi23– 51
10Osama Alsanad22– 52
11David Schovánek20– 54
12Rui Franco19– 55
T-13Arif Bin Mohammed15– 59
T-13Aisvydas Paliukėnas15– 59
15Abdulaziz Al-Jabri13– 61
16Marcin Pasek13– 61
17Annie Seel12– 62
T-18Tariq Saleh Al-Rammah11– 63
T-18Ata Al-Hmoud11– 63
20Omar Abdulleh Al-Lahim8– 66
21Taye Perry6– 68
22Ali Mirza5– 69
23Tamer Alhijazeen4– 70


1Shegawi Racing77Leader
2Buggyra ZM Racing47– 30
T-3Saudi Border Guard45– 32
T-3QMMF Racing Team45– 32
T-5Race World Team30– 47
T-5Quaddy Racing30– 47
7Dark Horse25– 52
8Sports Racing Technologies20– 57


1Ibrahim Nasser Al-Muhna108Leader
2Ahmed Abdullah Al-Shegawi73– 35
3Majed Abdulrahman Al-Thunayyan26– 82


1Hamad Nasser Alharbi53Leader
2Yasir Seaidan40– 13
3Abel Abdulla39– 14
4Josef Macháček35– 18
5Mohammed Almeer32– 21
6Abdullah Ahmed Alshegawi26– 27
7Mario Franco25– 28
8Nouef Hassan Al-Sowaidi21– 32



1Salem Aldhafeeri102Leader
2Maha Mohammed Hamali81– 21
3Ahmed Fahad Alkuwari57– 45
4Atif Alzarouni40– 62
5Saeed Almouri28– 74
6Abdulla Ali Al-Khelaifi23– 79
7Mohammed An Al-Atteya22– 80


1Quaddy Racing50Leader
2Dark Horse47– 3
3Sports Racing Technologies25– 25


© The Checkered Flag