Rally: Al Attiyah romps into lead after opening stage win at Kuwait International Rally

Rally: Al Attiyah romps into lead after opening stage win at Kuwait International Rally

2018 KUWAIT INTERNATIONAL RALLY, November 1-3, 2018

FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC), round 4

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

ARIFJAN (KUWAIT): Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah cruised into a comfortable lead through the opening 2.3km super special stage of the Kuwait International Rally at Kuwait Motor Town on Thursday afternoon.

The Ford Fiesta R5 driver carded a time of exactly two minutes with the backdrop of a setting sun to move into a 4.1 second lead over Czech driver Vojt?ch Štajf at the start of the fourth round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC).

Škoda Fabia R5 driver Štajf said: “This is my first time in the Middle East Championship and every event is new to me. I am here because of Nasser. We spoke in Shiraz last year at the Iran Rally and he suggested that I come and do the Middle East series. I spoke to my sponsors and we decided to give it a go. I still have a chance to win the championship and I will not stop until it is no longer possible. I will not let Nasser go to sleep…!”

Ten drivers were permitted to start the FIA event and another three Kuwaiti crews took part in a National Rally over the same route. Local driver Meshari Al-Thefiri headed the MERC 2 contingent with the third quickest time of 2min 08.4sec to take a category lead of four-tenths of a second over Jordanian driver Khaled Juma into the night halt.

Former QMMF President and FIA Vice-President Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah made an impressive return to the series after a 20-year absence to post the fifth-quickest time of 2min 13.2sec.

Jordanian driver Shadi Shaban was the first to tackle the super special stage and posted the target time of 2min 19.3sec – his run also marked the first FIA competitive action to be staged at Kuwait Motor Town race circuit since its inauguration in March.

Lebanon’s Henry Kahy and Jordanian navigator Musa Djiyerian remain on course for the MERC 3 title after completing the stage in ninth place in a time of 2min 20sec. Oman’s Abdulah Al-Ruwahi slipped to 10th place with a misfiring Subaru Impreza.

This year’s event is being organised by the Basil Salem Al-Sabah Motor Racing Club (BMRC) under the chairmanship of Sheikh Athbi Nayef Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and in conjunction with the General Authority for Sport and the Kuwait International Automobile Club (KIAC). Zain Kuwait is the main sponsor.

Earlier in the afternoon, Sheikh Athbi Nayef Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah had been joined by Zain Kuwait’s Waleed Al-Khachti and drivers Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah, Vojt?ch Štajf, Meshari Al-Thefiri, Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah, Henry Kahy, Emad Juma and Abdullah Al-Ruwahi at a packed pre-event press conference at Kuwait Motor Town.


Two runs through three gravel special stages are on the agenda for Friday. Teams open their account in the southern deserts with a run through the brand new KMT stage that spans 15.10km and gets the action underway at 10.00hrs.

The 18.22km of Nuwaiseeb (10.48hrs) and the 22.46km of the Al-Zour (11.41hrs) special are split by a remote refuelling stop before the return to Kuwait Motor Town for servicing and a regroup.

The three desert stages are repeated in the afternoon from 14.14hrs, 15.02hrs and 15.55hrs, respectively.

2018 Kuwait International Rally – positions after SS1:

  1. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) Ford Fiesta R5                      2min 00.0sec
  2. Vojt?ch Štajf (CZE)/Ladislav Ku?era (CZE) Škoda Fabia R5                                                     2min 04.1sec

  3. Meshari Al-Thefiri (KWT)/Nasser Al-Kuwari (QAT) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X                         2min 08.4sec

  4. Khaled Juma (JOR)/Emad Juma (JOR) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X                                         2min 08.8sec

  5. Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Nicola Arena (ITA) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X                         2min 13.2sec

  6. Rashed Al-Nuami (QAT)/Hugo Magalhães (POR) Subaru Impreza                                   2min 13.4sec

  7. Ihab Al-Shorafa (JOR)/Yousef Juma (JOR) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX                                        2min 18.7sec

  8. Shadi Shaban (JOR)/Tarek Al-Taher (JOR) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX                                        2min 19.3sec

  9. Henry Kahy (LBN)/Musa Djiyerian (JOR) Škoda Fabia                                                           2min 20.0sec

  10. Abdullah Al-Rawahi (OMN)/Ata Al-Hmoud (JOR) Subaru Impreza                                      2min 25.8sec

2018 Kuwait National Rally – positions after SS1:

  1. Jassim Al-Muqahwi (KWT)/Tamer Al-Mutairi (KWT) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII                2min                2min 29.9sec
  • Mubarak Al-Thefiri (KWT)/Mohammed Al-Thefiri (KWT) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII                2min 30.0sec

  • Salem Al-Thefiri (KWT)/Fares Al-Thefiri (KWT) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII                     2min 34.1sec

  • Follow the Kuwait International Rally live:

    http://timing.sporttraxx.com/ races/kuwait-2018/


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    6 hrs ago


    Highlights from an action-packed brawl on the streets of Monte Carlo 💪 ... See Less

    Comment on Facebook

    Gutierrez is an absolute jerk and shouldn't be allowed to participate! He should go to a fair in Mexico and drive bumper cars...

    The thing about Gutiérrez is to consult with his psychologist, that the damages are not activated does not mean that you drive without respect, you cannot put the car where it does not fit, fantastic boot race, it was not the best circuit to debut in a virtual race and if He is not caught in the accident, he would have been in the top 3, I hope he dared to participate again, Lecler very clean.

    Honestly would rather they played Mario kart. It’s way more fun than this.

    No damage is bullshit. Grow up.

    Can’t run this with damage on, just takes away the spectacle and not very interesting to watch when crashing into each other like this

    Gutierrez should play E roulette tonight. He hit everything else in Monaco, odds are he will hit his number or color as well

    Turning damage off was a big mistake. Just became intentional wall riding for most. It somewhat disconnects risk and reward.

    That It!!! All the F1 Pilots (when they're driving For Real) still think they're in virtual cars which can bounce off of everything without damage!

    So many people complaining, don't watch if it's so repulsive to you.

    Some shocking driving there. And people wonder why very few take it seriously. Crank damage up to 100% and let's see them

    Hey F1. You should have a night race at Monte Carlo and just add lights. I think it would be pretty cool.

    Estaben strategy for yesterday race if anyone doesn't let me pass I will do whatever it takes to gain his position. I will set them spinning ☠️☠️

    I feels like watching mini4WD series using barrier to turn lol Fun to watch, in not F1-serious like

    The most dangerous circuit ...

    2020 Monaco Virtual GP Nobody: All the drivers: SEND IT IN EVERY CORNER

    Oh this virtual thing is just lost. Loss of value in material, society and spirit. But who would compare?..

    Gutierrez racing is not for you. Please do something else mate!

    Esteban Gutierrez driving was just shameful. I realize it's a video game... but even for a video game his driving was stupid.

    No damage is just horrible, full of punts and wallriding

    Action? Come on guys, activate damages, they are real drivers!

    Obviously there's not enough damage from aggressive driving

    “He wants to play bumper car or something” - everyone to Gutierrez - 2020

    F1 needs a no damage mode 😂

    If they had damage on, only Russell would have finished the race 😀

    This virtual game those not have FÍA giving fines 😂

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    8 hrs ago


    A mini-epic 🍿Alex Albon and Arthur Leclerc fight for P4 in the closing laps of Sunday's Virtual Monaco Grand Prix 👏 ... See Less

    Comment on Facebook

    Gutierrez ruined the race outcome. I expect that kinda bumper cars from nascar. I’d why I quit that series. Altho it sounds like it pleased some folks. Well, there’s always the real thing, and bikes. flat track, moto, and. Enduro’s. Something for everybody. Hope the next one is cleaner.

    I would loooooove to get relevant F1 news without fantasy races and fluff. Is there a F1 page just for that? I realize everyone is struggling to stay relevant but fantasy racing is not what I signed up for.

    Another Ferrari driver who can't handle being passed

    Turn on damages. What a mess it look like kids driving today ...

    More exiting than real F1.. says enough!

    Honestly wish they would just turn damage back on. Like I get it there’s noobs being brought on that aren’t even drivers but cmon it kinda kills this thing just watching them drive like they’re playing Mario Kart.

    Why has F1 not adopted Esports to carry the season until the real racing can continue? Would be alot more interesting to see all the grid in equal cars. Even if it's not exactly the real thing.

    Enough of this. Bring back the real deal

    It looks fake and it is...multiple collisions, no damage, no nothing. It’s just not interesting.

    Glad they made titanium front wings and sidepods.

    Just imagine racing like that in real life. Awesome.

    Wow this definitely splits option, better than no racing in mine though.

    This might be interesting if they turned on damage. W/O it it's just BS bumper cars, ignoring track limits and a useless thing to watch.

    Super unrealistic...

    Do people look at this crap really only stockcar racing

    Good old Karting move 👍

    Never seen such racing in Monaco.

    The fact these guys race with no damage is sad.

    turn damage on so we can really have fun watching drivers survive monaco.

    Is that Blackpool GP coz they drive like they were on the Dodgems?!

    He went through where Max couldn't get past Hamilton last season

    😮👏🏻 Good luck

    I think they should have had damage on

    Turn on the damage

    Gutierrez is the Pagenaud of F1

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    9 hrs ago


    Charles Leclerc was a bit GUTted! 😮 ... See Less

    Comment on Facebook

    Not watched this rubbish. They need to do a kind of battle royale style event where everyone has damage on, except kyviat and the last person to be torpedoed wins.

    Bad luck for Charles on that point. Two years ago breaks failure and now this😂

    Why are some people so angry on this thread because wheels didn't fly off a virtual car? Lockdown really hitting hard 😂

    No damage... It's just a laugh that you need the settings for 5 year olds...

    Honestly what Esteban today did was dirty... unacceptable, was watching Marcel Kiefer's stream and he was raging and swearing!

    Just get to real racing already. This virtual racing wore out a month ago. NASCAR has started and IndyCar starts June 6th.

    These clips only remind me how barren my life is without F1 lol. I can't find any enthusiasm for these Mario Kart races.

    😐 c'mon now...turn on damage and get all the F1 drivers involved. Have your "celebrity" races elsewhere. ½points for virtual races and add them to whatever is earned when the actual season resumes.

    Can we get a full contact death match mode with weapons please? Please!

    You have overdone it with the "virtual" grand Prixs.I am a gamer and a FORMULA 1 fan myself but just the marketing exaggeration and promotion of all these tends to become boring, at least for those who spend a lot of time with pure Formula 1 things.Even the the E-league was better organized...

    If they're going to play a game with ridiculous physics and no damage, why don't they just play Call of Duty. That's about as close to real war as this F1 game is to car racing.

    Alright, it's funny if everyone agrees to go full Mario Kart mode. Not if a couple decides to torpedoe everyone while the rest is actually trying ro race. Either implement some set of rules or just switch to Mario Kart for this series. It was funny, now it's just ridiculous.

    What no damage. That the whole point of f1

    Leclerc and Monaco is just not a good combination.

    What a load of sh*te this is honest. May as well watch them all playing mario cart. Utterly pointless.

    Get a grip ya whining bastards! Yes, there's a bit of overzealous driving...so what! It's a bit of fun and at least a little entertainment for us while there's no real F1.

    Here for all the ItS nOt ReAlIsTiC comments. No kidding, it's a video game.

    The handling on the Codemasters games will always be rubbish, far from realistic, useless.

    it was the worst virtual gp please turn on damage

    Is there no damage mode in this game? I remember F1 2001 had like 20,000 settings and full damage mode.

    Someone appears to have driven through Leclercs car, ghostlike, as if made of ectoplasm...

    did the Alfa just phase through Leclerc's car??

    Les mecs ils jouent sans les dégâts...trop la honte serieux quand nous on jouent en réel

    also Esteban seems to be like five years child who chrashing into everything

    They really need to mount guns and oil slicks and mix things up. 😜

    View more comments

    12 hrs ago


    An emotional day for all involved as Tatsuki Suzuki handed SIC 58 Squadra CORSE victory at the circuit named after the late Marco Simoncelli ❤️

    Relive the highlights from the #SanMarinoGP! 🇸🇲
    ... See Less

    Comment on Facebook

    What an emotional race. Amazing.


    Dominik Leder

    en ik ook


    Fatima Benard segundo 35 cuando voy conduciendo y me envías un mensaje

    Ricardo Blokzijl Nathalie Blokzijl, dat weekendje gaat jammer genoeg dit jaar niet door

    Let me show you the video of my Yamaha in Italy! youtu.be/Cqqivo8wJ-Q

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    13 hrs ago

    24H Series

    Yesterday during the 12H MONZA, Munckhof Racing powered by No Fear Energy Drink and Ciceley Motorsport side by side during the race! 🏎️💥

    #thisisendurance #24hseries #24hseries2020 #motorsport #12hmonza #racing #iracing #esports
    ... See Less

    Yesterday during the 12H MONZA, Munckhof Racing powered by No Fear Energy Drink and Ciceley Motorsport side by side during the race! 🏎️💥

#thisisendurance #24HSERIES #24HSERIES2020 #motorsport #12HMONZA #racing #iracing #esports

    13 hrs ago


    How does Valentino Rossi VR46 Official describe himself? 🤔
    Does he like pineapple on a pizza? 🍍🍕
    What's his favourite #MotoMonster Energy Yamaha MotoGPhis and more about the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP rider in our Quick Fire questions ⁉️
    ... See Less

    Comment on Facebook

    Optimistic in 2018 to enjoying my soft pizza from bridgestone with mayonaise in the beach at sunset with coffee and gain cardio of my dogs just to funny 😆😆✌️

    Gotta love that guy! 🤣 what if your cat finds out about that dog mishap?? 🙈 Also: pineapple on pizza is THE BEST! I’m sorry but it’s true 😝

    Vale you are really Amazing!!!! Good luck!!! We Love ❤💛 YOU!!!!

    Looking forward to racing again . You look really good , relaxed & happy. You will always be No 1 . ❤ One kiss x

    Always smiling our Vale !! and of course optimistic. I love him 🥰. I hope to see you soon on the track. 😉

    Ahhhh - I got all of these right (except the mayonnaise on pizza but that’s definitely more acceptable than pineapple 🤢). Always makes me smile 😊 x

    Valentino looks like he needs that beard filling makeup pen that’s all the target on FB

    My Boy, and no pineapple, I'm allergic. XX

    Like the longer hair, not the beard... You can shave, you don't need the barber for that....

    Only you were allowed to switch the tyres from Michelin to Bridgestone.. What a shame!

    Maybe they should do this for all the riders????

    FFS!! Enough of the fan-boy shite MotoGP!! 🤬 Let's see something about other riders. You have 82 others to choose from!

    One thing is for real...he certainly can't grow a beard!

    Mayonnaise on a pizza? In Italy? It must be an Uccio thing, there's no other explanation... 🤣🤣🤣

    Pizza with mayonnaise??????

    Hahahaha "forbidden." #pineappledoesnotbelongonpizza

    T-shirt salesman

    rossi: mayo pizza cooks: WHAT A GENIUS he must be 200+ iq

    Healthy greetings from Indonesia

    I love this guy...

    Hello mester Rossi we miss you, Go go go

    Ah Vale!.. la pizza con la maionese proprio non si può sentire!!!!😱😱😱😱😱

    Go put some beard

    Legend. Forza

    Class🤝only 46

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