Nasser Al-Attiyah built most of his record on the Dakar with Mathieu Baumel. If he was accompanied by the German Timo Gottschalk during his first success in 2011 with Volkswagen, he owes all his other winner’s trophies to the pair formed with the French co-driver, at Mini then Toyota.
In addition to winning the premier rally-raid event four times (2015, 2019, 2022, 2023), the two men have also finished on the second step of the podium four times (2016, 2018, 2020, 2021). The 2024 edition was an exception, concluded prematurely due to mechanical problems repeatedly during their baptism in Prodrive Hunter.
Nasser Al-Attiyah soon to be co-driven by Edouard Boulanger?
Despite this regularity at the highest level, their association ended on Tuesday. Coincidentally, the announcement made to this effect by Nasser Al-Attiyah came just a few hours after the presentation of Daciahis new team, to lift the veil on the prototype called Sandrider.
Unlike his teammates Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez, the Qatari was unable to make the trip to Paris, being held in Qatar to participate in the first round of the Middle East rally championship. On this occasion, he is accompanied by the Italian Giovanni Bernacchini, but his longer-term co-pilot, notably on the Dakar 2025, has not been defined to date, although rumors mention the name of the Frenchman Edouard Boulanger, current co-driver of Stéphane Peterhansel.
Dacia has confirmed their Dakar crews for 2025, with Cristina Gutierrez Herrero continuing with her Challenger winning co-driver Pablo Moreno Heute, and Sebastien Loeb with Fabian Lurquin, whilst Nasser Al-Attiyah is yet to confirm his co-driver [rumored to be Edouard Boulanger] pic.twitter.com/zqrCUVPyMu
— Junaid #JB17 (@JunaidSamodien_) January 30, 2024
#W2RC: With Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel parting ways after Dakar, Édouard Boulanger will take over as Al-Attiyah’s navigator for the rest of the 2024 World Rally-Raid Championship.
He was most recently Stéphane Peterhansel’s co-driver. https://t.co/fcoGdbx3DF
— Justin Nguyen (@ZappaOMatic) January 29, 2024
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To sum up
Sébastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez took part in the presentation of the Dacia Sandrider on Tuesday, unlike Nasser Al-Attiyah, who was selected for a race in Qatar. A few hours later, the Qatari announced the end of his successful association with his French co-driver Mathieu Baumel.
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