The Qatari star and Mathieu Baumel will make their debut with the BRX Hunter T1+ built by Prodrive, with which he will also try to achieve his sixth Dakar victory.
This Thursday morning in Comenda, Al-Attiyah and Baumel did a short 35-kilometre test with the British prototype, similar to the one Sébastien Loeb used in the recent Morocco Rally. "It was a learning contact with the car and I liked it. It has a lower centre of gravity than the Toyota, it's almost like a rally car. It's an evolution of the car from the last Dakar," said the two-time World Rally-Raid champion, who is also on his way to victory in the FIA Baja World Cup. With the recent cancellation of the Jordan Baja, Portalegre is the sixth and penultimate event on the world calendar.
"It's a great pleasure for me to be back in Portalegre. It's a tough race, with the rain, the streams, lots of mud, but the public in Portugal make it special. It's incredible how many messages I've already received on social media, welcoming me, saying they're coming to the race to see us. It's nothing new, but there's a great passion for motorsport in Portugal and you can feel it in Portalegre." Al-Attiyah was runner-up in the ACP event in 2007 (BMW X3) and 2014 (HRX Ford).