Rally: Al Rajhi storms to emphatic fourth victory in Ha’il Rally
Sunday, March 22nd, 2015-HA’IL (Saudi Arabia): Yazeed Al-Rajhi stormed to an emphatic fourth victory in the Ha’il Nissan International Rally, which finished in the north-central region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Sunday.
The Hummer driver was the class of the record entry from the start with German co-driver Timo Gottschalk and celebrated a fourth win in four different makes of car with a winning margin of nearly 70 minutes.
“It was a fantastic event and I am delighted to have won here with the Hummer,” said Al-Rajhi. “That’s four wins here for me now and that gives me great confidence to take to the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge next week.”
Rajah Farhan Al-Shammeri managed to fend off the challenge from Moteb Saud Al-Shammeri to claim the runner-up spot on the 10th anniversary event hosted by the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF). Khalaf Joan climbed to third place in a Toyota after Moteb Saud Al-Shammeri was slowed by mechanical issues on the final day and lost his place in the top 10. Ahmed Al-Gashimi finished fourth in another Nissan.
Ahmed Al-Nasser claimed outright victory in the motorcycle and quad category on his Honda bike and second-placed Abdul-Majeed Al-Khulaifi finished as the leading quad rider on his Kawasaki. Sultan Al-Masood finished third on his Yamaha quad.
Rajah Farhan Al-Shammeri had not missed any waypoints on Saturday’s selective section and he began the final stage in second place, 53min 01sec behind Al-Rajhi, the Saudi ensuring that Moteb Saud Al-Shammeri was down in third place at the start of the final 192.03km of action from Jubbah to Qana.
Ahmed Al-Nasser began the final section with a lead of 2min 03sec over Abdul-Majeed Al-Khulaifi in the motorcycle and quad category. The shorter 85.37km final selective section for the bikes and quads ran from Al-Hafer to Qana.
Both of the staggered stages started at similar times and Al-Rajhi began to pull clear of his rivals, as Motair Al-Shammeri and Ahmed Al-Gashimi took up the chase and were the Hummer driver’s closest challengers at the first checkpoint. Ahmed Al-Shammeri rolled his Toyota early in the stage, but Al-Rajhi steamrollered the opposition and set the stage target time of 2hr 22min 10sec. He eventually won the stage by 16min 49sec.
Technical troubles ruined Moteb Saud Al-Shammeri’s chances of claiming a top 10 finish and his demise lifted Khalaf Joan to third place behind Rajah Farhan Al-Shammeri. Eight Nissans finished inside the top 10.
Final positions after leg 3 – Sunday (unofficial @ 14.00hrs):
Cars (top 10 only)
1. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU)/Timo Gottschalk (DEU) Hummer 8hr 50min 58sec
2. Rajah Farhan Al-Shammeri (SAU)/Mubarak Farhan Al-Shammeri (SAU) Nissan 10hr 00min 48sec
3. Khalaf Joan (SAU)/Joan Al-Shammeri (SAU) Toyota 10hr 37min 37sec
4. Ahmed Al-Gashimi (SAU) Omar Al-Lahim (SAU) Nissan 10hr 38min 43sec
5. Motair Al-Shammeri (SAU)/Raed Al-Assaf SAU) Nissan 10hr 45min 10sec
6. Sami Al-Shammeri (SAU)/Abdullah Al-Shammeri (SAU) Nissan 10hr 45min 29sec
7. Emil Khneisser (LBN)/Alexsei Kuzmich (RUS) Nissan 10hr 47min 54sec
8. Munif Al-Salmani (SAU)/Ali Mirza (ARE) Nissan 10hr 48min 09sec
9. Ahmed Al-Shegawi (SAU)/Nooh Buhumaid (ARE) Nissan 10hr 50min 41sec
10. Niaf Al-Otaibi (SAU)/Mohammed Al-Seiri (SAU) Nissan 10hr 53min 22sec