UAE: Sheikh Abdullah Al Qassimi extends lead in RAK Rally as his son makes competitive debut
Dubai, UAE, 12 April, 2015: Sheikh Abdullah Al Qassimi extended his lead in the UAE Rally Championship to 54 pts with a comfortable victory in the Ras Al Khaimah Rally.
Partnered by his long-time co-driver Gaby Khoury in a Ford Fiesta, Sheikh Abdullah won the third round of the championship on Saturday by 10mins 22 secs from the Omani pairing of Khalid Al Manji and Saif Al Aisiri in a Subaru Impreza.
Another Omani combination, Hamaid Al Waili and Mohamed Al Mazroui, took third place in a Subaru in an event featuring three special stages each run three times for a total competitive distance of 127.95kms.
Veteran Lebanese pair Michel Saleh and Ahmad Ghaziri in another Subaru, Emiratis Ali Al Shawi and Ali Obaid in a Chevy Blazer and Saudi Arabia’s Ibrahim Nasser Al Mohana and Bader Al Barak in a Nissan Patrol completed the top six.
Driving a Polaris buggy in partnership with Ahmed Malik, Sheikh Saeed Bin Maktoom finished in tenth position.
Sheikh Abdullah, Founder and President of the Emirates Motorsport Club, organisers of the UAE National Rally Championship, is working to attract a new generation of Emirati drivers into the sport.
He was happy to see his son, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Qassimi, 17, give a good account of himself on his rallying debut alongside experienced Lebanese co-driver Joseph Matar before being halted on the seventh special stage when his Subaru lost fuel pressure.
Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the 14-times former Middle East rally champion, was forced to withdraw before the start after his Ford Escort WRC developed mechanical problems during testing on the eve of the rally. Thirteen of the 22 starters completed the event. The UAE Rally Championship now takes a break before the remaining two rounds in October and December.
Ras Al Khaimah results:
1. Shk. Abdulla Al Qassimi / Gaby Khoury (UAE / UAE) Ford Fiesta 1:17:17.328
2. Khalid Al Manji / Saif Al Aisiri (Oman/Oman) Subaru Impreza 1:27:39.357
3. Hamaid Al Waili / Mohamed Al Mazroui (Oman/Oman) Subaru Impreza 1:29:06.662
4. Michel Saleh / Amed Ghaziri (RL / RL) Subaru Impreza 1:30:08.598
5. Ali Al Shawi / Ali Obaid (UAE / UAE) Chevy Blazer 1:35:21.970
6. Ibrahim Nasser Al Mohana / Bader Al Barak (KSA) Nissan Patrol 1:35:38.418
7. Rashed Bin Humouda / Ali Mirza (UAE/UAE) Nissan Patrol 1:37:56.008
8. Ian Barker / Sheila Barker (UAE/UAE) Nissan Patrol 1:40:02.166
9. Mansoor Parol / Srinivasa Thota (UAE/UAE) Ford Fiesta 1:41:07.233
10. Shk Saeed Bin Maktoum / Ahmed Malik (UAE/UAE) Polaris 1:45:12.434
UAE Rally Championship standings after 3 rounds
1. Sheikh Abduballa Al Qassimi (UAE) 100pts
2. Ibrahim Al Mohana (KSA) 48
3. NoohBuhomaid (UAE) 40
3. Ali Al Shawi (UAE) 40
5. Khalid Al Manji (Oman) 36
6. Ian Barker (UAE) 32
7. Humaid Al Waili 15
8. Faisal Al Rashidi 15