UAE: Old rivalry between Al-Attiyah and Al-Qassimi set to take centre stage in Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

UAE: Old rivalry between Al-Attiyah and Al-Qassimi set to take centre stage in Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi heads for a duel at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge next week

Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi heads for a duel at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge next week

Abu Dhabi (UAE) – Friday, 24 March 2017: The world’s leading drivers and riders are beginning to arrive in the United Arab Emirates ahead of next week’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge POWERED BY NISSAN.

The third round of the 2017 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies and the opening round of the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship kicks off with a super special stage at the Al-Forsan International Sports Resort on April 1 and runs through the deserts of the Rub Al-Khali until April 6.

A fierce rivalry has existed between Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi for 14 years. The pair locked horns for the first time in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship and Al-Qassimi drew first blood with a title victory in 2004.

The pair continued their duel for several seasons in the regional rallying series and then the competition extended to the FIA World Rally Championship, where Al-Attiyah concentrated on the PWRC and WRC 2 categories and Al-Qassimi agreed to drive works Fords and Citroëns in the main World Rally Car categories.

Now the pair are specialising in cross-country rallying. Al-Attiyah has more experience in this discipline, as his two Dakar Rally victories and numerous wins on rounds of the FIA World Cup would suggest. But Al-Qassimi is a determined character and now has the latest version of Peugeot’s all-conquering 3008 DKR at his disposal for the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. A mechanical issue robbed him of a top finish on his ADDC debut in 2015, but he went on to finish seventh overall with a Mini All4 Racing last year.

The Emirati shadowed his Qatari rival to the finish of the recent Dubai International Baja and almost lasted the distance at the Dakar Rally in January, before mechanical issues intervened. He will be determined to push for the top of the podium to keep up the momentum in his first real season-long challenge for FIA World Cup honours. Al-Qassimi’s navigator Khalid Al-Kendi is one of the most experienced in the UAE and developed a sound knowledge of the Western Deserts by competing alongside Abu Dhabi veteran Yayha Al-Helai on many occasions.

Al-Attiyah, meanwhile, is on a winning streak with his Overdrive Racing Toyota Hilux and claimed six event victories last year in Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Spain, Italy, Poland and Morocco on his way to the FIA World Cup title. A win in Dubai recently has moved him up to second in the 2017 title race behind Poland’s Aron Domzala. He also has two wins at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge under his belt but Al-Qassimi will be aiming to prevent the Doha-based driver from adding a third.

“Both Nasser and Khalid have been at the forefront of rallying in the Middle East for the last 14 years and it is fascinating that they will lock horns again across the sands of the UAE, here at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge,” enthused Mohammed Ben Sulayem, rally founder and President of the ATCUAE.

“The success of both drivers has encouraged many more people in the region to become interested in the sport and their interest in the discipline of cross-country rallying is another reason this sport is so popular now in the region.”

The event takes place under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the Ruler’s representative in Al-Dafra region, and has invaluable support from the Western Region Municipality, Abu Dhabi Municipality, the UAE Army, Abu Dhabi Police, National Ambulance Service, Yas Marina Circuit, ADNOC, Abu Dhabi Aviation, Al-Ain Water, Abu Dhabi Waste Management, Rotana and Centro Hotel – Yas Island, the Qasr Al-Sarab Resort and Al-Forsan Circuit.

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8 hrs ago

F1

That Alex Albon is so cheeky 😂 ... See Less

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Omg! I love this duo so much! Never fail to make me laugh 😂

Actually I don't Like Alex' sense of humor :/ he is imo too arrogant

Is it just me or does anybody else wanna punch max in the fuckin face as hard as u could??

Why in the hell did Merc haven't done Grill the Grid?

If he think that one is bad i wonder what he think of the rookie of the year one ! 👀

Alex very honest! I like that

Congratulations

Did he say Sonny Moore at 0:28?

Congrats 😎

Nikko Par

Alex Albon 💙

Sarah Jones

Ricardo Ruiz

While you patiently waiting for your monthly salary, others are busy earning nothing less than $500- $10000 every 48hours, Ask me how????

Celine Maddie

Traduscalon a español

Rahul Kale Nuaman Wt

Max might be fast but his funny level is pretty low.

"It looks Romanian" hahaha good knowledge of flags Alex!

Who win this in 2018 please?

Being a Romanian, I’m surprise that Albon know the Romania 🇷🇴 flag ☺️. Wow.

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9 hrs ago

F1

Hang in there... fewer than 💯 days until the next race 😅 ... See Less

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Man weekends are so boring at the moment. Drive to survive needs to come out sooner than March to help this out

It was fun back in the days when we had the V8 .. It was a joy to watch the replays but now I can't stand watching any reply of this era even if it was a perfect move or something really special Please give us some noise .. I want my ears to hurt again 😅

And if Sebastian and Max have been good Saint Nic may bring them a fast car for 2020.

Odotetaan jannityksella odotus aika tuntuu pitkalta vai mita . ?? 🌲🌨🎅🎅Hyvaa joulua seka vuoden loppua . 🥂❤️❤️🍀🍀.

Super cross holds me over quite well until F1 starts back up.

It's gonna be a long winter.

It’s worse when you put it that way! 100 days...omg....nooooooooooooo!

90 days, 4 hours, 9 minutes and 30 sec to be precise...

Now that F1 has been over.

Waiting on the season to start

if V12 days yes we aka fans are eager for new seasons race but not now sadly..

With me in the competition.. Your gonna.. WIN.. 🏆❤💋

We are ready 💜😏

I know it’s not F1, but urge everyone to get on to the Bathurst 12 hour stream, starting October 21st. A real motor race with overtaking. It might get you through to the start of the next F1 season. www.bathurst12hour.com.au/news/2020-liqui-moly-bathurst-12-hour-date-confirmed/

Hang in there Tom, it’ll be back soon!!

Racing denotes some sort of competition is involved.

Can't wait!

It's not that long.

Waiting for this.. 👍🏻 👍🏻 👏🏻 🏁🏁🏎️🏎️👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Non vediamo l'ora che comincia grand premio, speriamo che sia spettacolare come finale 2019...

100 days never seemed longer

Race ever day.

اعطونا رزنامت الموسم القادم

Can’t wait 😆

Can't wait.

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10 hrs ago

F1

🥁 And the winner is... (as voted by F1 fans) ... See Less

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Funny how fans were whingeing about the state of F1 in early 2019, saying it's boring and a procession...Soon as they said that, boom! We have a season on our hands. A season to enjoy, with some of the best overtakes I've ever seen, in my 34 full years of F1 watching! Wow!

I'm surprised that Leclercs move on Gasly at Silverstone isn't included in this list. I don't think I've ever seen an overtake around the outside of Village. Pretty impressive, as far as I am concerned.

Would you look at that F1, the FIAs "Action of the Year" nowhere to be seen as anyone with an ounce of credibility knows that was an overtake off the circuit.

Sainz at Brazil should’ve been #1

Seriously how Max got "Action of the year" with that move I'll never know.... Way more impressive moves this year than that!

Lec overtake impossible Ver overtake very difficult and very beautiful but possible ! For me Lec P1 Ver P2

The number 1 is one of the easiest move, it's number 1 just 'cause crytappen done it. In the same footage, 20 meters behind, there is a more gutsy move made by his team-mate Albon on the (most powerful on straights) Ferrari of Vettel. That shows once again that "voted by fan" means s**t. Most of them can't even understand the basis of motorsport.

I liked the double overtake of Verstappen on LeClerc and Hamilton in Brazil the most. Such confidence and determinatiom and Senna-esque going for the gap. That’s what makes Max brilliant

The overtake of Verstappen to Leclerc in Austria is not a good overtake, was an ilegal overtake!

Passing on the grass is always tricky. A bit too much throttle either on the grass or when regaining the track and you're not going to have a good day. Much as I'm not a fan of Leclerc, I do have to say where he passed in Monaco was tricky and took some skill. I think that Norris' double pass in COTA should've been in this top ten.

Everything that F1 does here is to find a way to sell Max as an phenomenon. It sucks .... no credibility at all.

Max's overtake on Hamilton is exactly like Montoya to Schumacher at the same place in a GP of Brazil..

Where is Hamilton on Vettel in Bahrain?? And Albon on Ricciardo at Spa!!?

An overtaking package without a single highlight from Ricciardo. Sums up Renault's season perfectly.

No.4 Bottas passed Hamilton on the next corner, where no one had passed before. It was great move!

P7 was not overtaking. It was forcing out of the track and causing a collison

And Sainz in Mónaco overtakes kvyat?

Number 4 Bottas repasted Hamilton into Cops corner that should be in the top 10, not often we have cars wheel too wheel into the corner it was fantastic racing from both drivers !!! 🤙

The best overtake for me is Leclerc on Gasly in Silverston

Sainz last lap overtake that secured the point för the 6th Palace in the Championship

6 years of Boring Parades.....F1 used to actually race before the Engineering Exercise.

That Max pass on Leclerc was anything but clean or graceful. Shoulda left a little more room outside.

To vote overtake moves check tyre wear and strategy cause a Williams can send one outside of Merc if tyres are worn differently......

how was sainz 3rd and not first? that was brave and crazily tight to overtake there....

Why Leclerc got 2 best overtake? I’ve never seen overtaking at that part of the track in this decade.

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11 hrs ago

MotoGP

Round 2 in Ausin provided drama that nobody expected! 😱

Take a look back at the first moments of the #AmericasGP! 🇺🇸

#MotoGP
... See Less

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MM side to side transitions down through the esses is so much quicker than everyone else! Also he brakes so much harder and later than anyone coming into 12 it’s unreal to watch in person!

That turn 1 is so amazing.

it was actually round 3....but who's counting....

First race I went to ❤️

Who wrote this a child sloppy

Austin not 'Ausin' 😂 Round 3 not 2 😂 I think MotoGP is drunk

Cant spell Austin

Where’s Ausin? Is that near Austin?

Vr 46 😍

who won..??

Round 3 in Austin

What drama? 🤷‍♂️

Where is Ausin?

Patrick Souza

Wasn't Austin* round 3?

that race..??

Bay Shapso

Marc Marquez ❤❤

Wow this track is up, the lining of the #GP is so amazing ,😎

Forza VR46 ❤

Fabien Audouard Polo Fabien

Tressia Nowlin 🏍️❤️❤️❤️‼️‼️‼️

Ausin

Que puesto quedo rossi?

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12 hrs ago

MotoGP

A first every Álex Rins/493142754078013">#MotoGP victory for Álex Rins! 🏆

His victory back at the #AmericasGP will go down in the history books! 👏
... See Less

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Rossi has perfected diving in too late and hot, then running way wide. You'd think he'd know better by now.

rossi should kick rins. so he can win this race. 🤐

Great👍

S U Z U K Ingggggg 💪💪💪👏👏👏🦾🦾

Young riders to win 😎

I was there😁

Boa. Parabéns

👌

🔥

😍😍😍😍

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18 hrs ago

MotoGP

Maiden winners at the Marc Márquez17">#AmericasGPMaverick Viñalesf="https://facebooÁlex Rins142754078013">#MotoGP ➡️ Marc Márquez 🏆
2014 #Moto2 ➡️ Maverick Viñales 🏆
2013 #Moto3 ➡️ Álex Rins 🏆
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2013 AmericasGP marquez: new bike, new track, fast to adapt

Miss You Little Samurai #26DP 😑😑

Of course a choose Vin also...

Always.... Marc...

First is always special ❣️❣️❣️

Always Marc 💪🏻💪🏻🇳🇵🇳🇵

Miss you dani😭😭

Marc ❤

The first sign of the alien existed

MM.93❤👍✌✌

MM93 forewer

Keliatan beda kelas antara marc dgn alex and vina

Always boring rider and boring titles from marq marquez

Babang dani 😍

Marquez...

Hallo ich bin Martin 😀

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20 hrs ago

CircuitProDigital

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