DOHA (Qatar): Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah incurred a 10-second penalty for leaving service one minute late at the end of day one of the QMMF Qatar International Rally on Friday.
This meant that the Qatari’s lead of 5.5 seconds over Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari turned into a 4.5-second deficit and means that Al-Attiyah will not start first on the road on Saturday. That responsibility will now fall to overnight leader Al-Kuwari.
The team’s official reason was given as time taken to “change an anti-roll bar”, but there is an advantage to be gained by not running first through new special stages and it appears that Al-Attiyah has used the time penalty to his advantage.
Updated positions after leg 1: