BAJA ESPANA 2008 – After Leg 2

2008 FIA INTERNATIONAL CUP FOR CROSS COUNTRY BAJAS (ROUND 3/6) BAJA ESPANA ARAGON SATURDAY 19 JULY 2008 LEG 2ROMA DEFENDS 2ND PLACE BUT TEAM REPSOL MITSUBISHI RALLIART LOSES ALPHAND AND MASUOKANani Roma and Lucas Cruz (Spain) continue to stand out as the best-placedMitsubishi runners with one leg of the 2008 Baja Espana remaining.

TheSpaniards are still second with their Pajero/Montero Evolution MPR13 andspent the day chasing Nasser Al-Attiyah, although they failed to make anyinroads into the Qatar-based driver's provisional lead. The pace andchallenge of the event are such, however, that none of the front-runners canafford to ease up before Sunday afternoon's finish, and Roma has everyintention of maintaining the pressure until the flag.With a total of 344.75km of competitive action on the program, the longestleg of the weekend was always likely to have a decisive effect on theoutcome of the Spanish event. Unfortunately, the day's two principal victimsturned out to be Luc Alphand/Gilles Picard (France) and their Mitsubishiteam-mates Hiroshi Masuoka/Pascal Maimon (Japan/France) whose runs came to ahalt during this afternoon's SS4, the longest of the rally.As they headed out for an early start to the second leg's faster stages,competitors were greeted by further glorious sunshine and more hot weather(38°C), although the breezeless SS3 was marked by hanging dust whichaffected all but Al-Attiyah, the first driver on the road today. Luc Alphand kicked off the day intent on recovering the footing on thepodium that he lost just before the end of Friday's final stage. Thesecond-fastest time on this morning's 133.12km stage enabled him to close towithin less than a minute off a top-three placing, but the Frenchman waslater stopped by a transmission problem on the following test. "The French pair was joined on the retirements list shortly afterwards whenHiroshi Masuoka and Pascal Maimon could only stand by and watch as theirPajero/Montero Evolution was consumed by flames. The Japanese driver takesup the story: "We had gone off and were doing what we could to manoeuvre ourway back onto the road when another competitor went off at exactly the sameplace. The other car didn't hit ours, but its hot brakes set fire to thesurrounding grass. We did all we could to put out the flames with ouronboard extinguisher, but they quickly spread to the two cars and there wasabsolutely nothing we could do to put out the blaze." Happily, nobody washurt in the incident.Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart Director Dominique Serieys observes, "We'velost two cars today in two completely different circumstances. Hiroshi wentoff at a place that nearly caught out a lot of other competitors, includingNani. The fact that his car caught fire was due to the unfortunate sequenceof events that followed. However much experience you have, there is alwayssomething you can learn and this weekend has already taught us all a greatdeal. We weren't helped of course by yesterday's spate of punctures, butnothing is by any means over yet. There is still a long, challenging stageto come tomorrow and we mustn't forget that we've still got Nani up there insecond place"Nani Roma comments, "It's been another tough day for the team, and whathappened to Hiroshi is especially sad. I have to say that I came close togoing off at the same spot,". "Both this morning and this afternoon, we didall we could to stay in contention and we managed to keep up a strong pacewhenever the terrain was twisty. Today's stages were much faster thanyesterday's, though, and there was nothing we could do to stay withAl-Attiyah through the quicker portions and along the long straights. That'sa situation we just have to live with for the moment in the knowledge thateveryone at MMSP and in Japan is working hard to prepare for the future. Iknow it won't be easy, but I have no intention of giving up because anythingcan still happen tomorrow."The 25th anniversary Baja Espana finishes on this  afternoon after the morning's 126.74km SS6 (Logares-Belchite) and the second of the weekend's two visits to the short 1.00km Principe Felipe/Colin McRae Memorial stage before the podium ceremony in Zaragoza.SS3 CLASSIFICATION1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (BMW X3 CC)- 1:30:27 (+**:**:**.*)2. Luc Alphand (MITSUBISHI PAJERO/MONTERO EVOLUTION)- 1:31:35 (+1:08)3. Filipe Campos (BMW X3 CC)- 1:31:44 (+1:17)4. Joan Roma (MITSUBISHI PAJERO/MONTERO EVOLUTION)- 1:32:10 (+1:43)5. Hiroshi Masuoka (MITSUBISHI PAJERO/MONTERO EVOLUTION)- 1:32:48 (+2:21)6. Leonid Novistsky (BMW X3 CC)- 1:35:36 (+5:09)7. Orlando Terranova (BMW X3 CC)- 1:36:07 (+5:40)8. Luis Climent (TOYOTA PROTO)- 1:39:58 (+9:31)9. Fernando Hernandez (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 1:42:29 (+12:02)10. Santiago Anglada (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 1:42:47 (+12:20)11. Bernardo Moniz (BMW X3 CC)- 1:42:54 (+12:27)12. Tonnie Van Deijne (MITSUBISHI L200)- 1:42:59 (+12:32)13. Jose Hernandez (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 1:43:24 (+12:57)14. Kenjiro Shinozuka (NISSAN PATHFINDER)- 1:43:36 (+13:09)15. Boris Gadasin (NISSAN OVERDRIVE)- 1:44:27 (+14:00)16. Rui Sousa (BMW X5)- 1:45:41 (+15:14)17. Ilya Kutnetsov (MITSUBISHI PAJERO)- 1:46:05 (+15:38)18. Francesc Termens (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 1:46:23 (+15:56)19. Gerard Benielli (BAT BUGGY)- 1:46:33 (+16:06)20. Amadeus Matzker (LAND ROVER DEFENDER)- 1:46:38 (+16:11)SS4 CLASSIFICATION1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (BMW X3 CC)- 2:19:38 (+**:**:**.*)2. Joan Roma (MITSUBISHI PAJERO/MONTERO EVOLUTION)- 2:21:41 (+2:03)3. Filipe Campos (BMW X3 CC)- 2:21:49 (+2:11)4. Leonid Novistsky (BMW X3 CC)- 2:30:43 (+11:05)5. Orlando Terranova (BMW X3 CC)- 2:34:43 (+15:05)6. Tonnie Van Deijne (MITSUBISHI L200)- 2:35:42 (+16:04)7. Kenjiro Shinozuka (NISSAN PATHFINDER)- 2:38:32 (+18:54)8. Maurizio Traglio (NISSAN TERRANO)- 2:39:25 (+19:47)9. Jose Hernandez (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 2:40:08 (+20:30)10. Giovanni Manfrinato (TOYOTA HDJ100)- 2:41:08 (+21:30)11. Bernard Errandonea (SMG BUGGY MONOPLACE)- 2:41:25 (+21:47)12. Francesc Termens (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 2:41:39 (+22:01)13. Ilya Kutnetsov (MITSUBISHI PAJERO)- 2:43:09 (+23:31)14. Janis Azis (OSCAR O3)- 2:43:14 (+23:36)15. Rui Sousa (BMW X5)- 2:43:41 (+24:03)16. Fernando Hernandez (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 2:44:02 (+24:24)17. Julian Vera (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 2:46:17 (+26:39)18. Ferran Font (TOYOTA HILUX N3S)- 2:46:38 (+27:00)19. Miguel Urquiola (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 2:47:07 (+27:29)20. Marino San Jose (TOYOTA HILUX N3S)- 2:47:59 (+28:21)SS5 CLASSIFICATION1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (BMW X3 CC)- 1:03 (+**:**:**.*)2. Filipe Campos (BMW X3 CC)- 1:04 (+0:01)3. Joan Roma (MITSUBISHI PAJERO/MONTERO EVOLUTION)- 1:05 (+0:02)4. Orlando Terranova (BMW X3 CC)- 1:07 (+0:04)5. Tonnie Van Deijne (MITSUBISHI L200)- 1:08 (+0:05)6. Luis Climent (TOYOTA PROTO)- 1:08 (+0:05)7. Janis Azis (OSCAR O3)- 1:09 (+0:06)8. Ricardo Colombo (MITSUBISHI L200)- 1:10 (+0:07)9. Ilya Kutnetsov (MITSUBISHI PAJERO)- 1:10 (+0:07)10. Jose Gameiro (NISSAN NAVARA)- 1:11 (+0:08)11. Leonid Novistsky (BMW X3 CC)- 1:12 (+0:09)12. Francesc Termens (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 1:13 (+0:10)13. Kenjiro Shinozuka (NISSAN PATHFINDER)- 1:13 (+0:10)14. Santiago Anglada (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 1:14 (+0:11)15. Rui Sousa (BMW X5)- 1:14 (+0:11)16. Jose Hernandez (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 1:14 (+0:11)17. Giovanni Manfrinato (TOYOTA HDJ100)- 1:14 (+0:11)18. Gerard Benielli (BAT BUGGY)- 1:14 (+0:11)19. Erik Van Loon (VOLKSWAGEN BUGGY)- 1:14 (+0:11)20. Fernando Hernandez (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 1:15 (+0:12)OVERALL CLASSIFICATION AFTER LEG 21. Nasser Al-Attiyah (BMW X3 CC)- 7:50:48 (+**:**:**.*)2. Joan Roma (MITSUBISHI PAJERO/MONTERO EVOLUTION)- 7:59:22 (+8:34)3. Filipe Campos (BMW X3 CC)- 8:04:32 (+13:44)4. Leonid Novistsky (BMW X3 CC)- 8:34:59 (+44:11)5. Tonnie Van Deijne (MITSUBISHI L200)- 8:48:18 (+57:30)6. Kenjiro Shinozuka (NISSAN PATHFINDER)- 8:54:52 (+1:04:04)7. Maurizio Traglio (NISSAN TERRANO)- 8:56:21 (+1:05:33)8. Jose Hernandez (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 8:56:31 (+1:05:43)9. Fernando Hernandez (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 8:58:45 (+1:07:57)10. Orlando Terranova (BMW X3 CC)- 9:07:05 (+1:16:17)11. Giovanni Manfrinato (TOYOTA HDJ100)- 9:08:40 (+1:17:52)12. Rui Sousa (BMW X5)- 9:09:17 (+1:18:29)13. Santiago Anglada (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 9:09:52 (+1:19:04)14. Ilya Kutnetsov (MITSUBISHI PAJERO)- 9:10:56 (+1:20:08)15. Janis Azis (OSCAR O3)- 9:12:42 (+1:21:54)16. Francesc Termens (MITSUBISHI MONTERO)- 9:14:41 (+1:23:53)17. Bernard Errandonea (SMG BUGGY MONOPLACE)- 9:15:34 (+1:24:46)18. Luis Climent (TOYOTA PROTO)- 9:21:10 (+1:30:22)19. Ferran Font (TOYOTA HILUX N3S)- 9:25:59 (+1:35:11)20. Marino San Jose (TOYOTA HILUX N3S)- 9:26:05 (+1:35:17)