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Washing machine with spin cycle: Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk win Italian Baja

9. July 2023

Further contributions

  • FIA World Cup Baja around the white goods town of Pordenone with lots of water, dust and speed
  • Short and sweet: 404.13 kilometers against the clock, spread over three special stages and a prologue – sprinting skills required
  • Speed duel at eye level between Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Nasser Al-Attiyah with identical material – tricky navigation challenges co-drivers

Pordenone (July 9, 2023) – Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk have won the Italian Baja 2023 in a duel with five-time “Dakar” winner Nasser Al-Attiyah and his co-driver Matthieu Baumel. The Saudi-Arabian-Brandenburg duo – fortunately easy to clean and wash – experienced a marathon rally-style express wash around Pordenone, the largest industrial center for the production of household appliances and white goods in southern Europe. With around 400 test kilometers over two days, sprinter qualities and uncompromising attacks without tactical calculation were required in the northeast of Italy. An exercise that Al-Rajhi/Gottschalk mastered brilliantly, especially on Sunday.

After two thirds of the stage distance, Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk were in the lead. They tackled the final 130 kilometers on Sunday with a lead of just 22.3 seconds. As on the previous day, the route led along the Tagliamento river. The challenges remained the same: water crossings, jumps, dust and rocky shore terrain awaited the participants. Al-Rajhi/Gottschalk extended their lead to just under nine and a half minutes on the final leg. They kept the pressure on the competition permanently high without making any mistakes of their own.

The navigation turned out to be tricky. The co-drivers could only rely on the now unfamiliar paper road book and an even more unfamiliar GPS system. A large number of instructions had to be mastered.


“We’re taking the big trophy with us this time. We really gave our all throughout the Baja and spared neither ourselves nor the material. That paid off. We are delighted with this victory in a duel at eye level!”


“A really thrilling battle between Nasser Al-Attiyah and Matthieu Baumel and us. The two drivers had each won here three times before – so it was all about who would triumph for the fourth time. It was a tough, exciting race – even with difficult navigation. To come away as the winner in the end is a great thing.”


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