By A Correspondent/Abu Dhabi
Qatar’s Adel Abdulla has managed to piece together a second successive deal to rent a car and will be hoping to extend his FIA T2 World Championship at the forthcoming Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, starting tomorrow in the UAE capital.
The third round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies features an opening timed super special stage and then five demanding selective sections through the remote deserts of the notorious Rub Al-Khali in the UAE’s Empty Quarter.
Abdulla has managed to hire a Nissan Safari Y61 to take part in the T2 or showroom category, where he and navigator Nasser al-Kuwari face fierce competition from the likes of Saudi Arabia’s Ahmed Shegawi, Russia’s Yuliya Khegay-Migunova and Romania’s Claudia Laurentiu Barbu. The duo tested the car for the first time yesterday.
The Qatari finished third at Baja Russia and second in the recent Dubai International Baja and now holds an eight-point lead in the T2 rankings after two of 11 rounds.
“At the end we had permission to do the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, but we could not, unfortunately, bring our car again. We are lucky that we have been to hire a Nissan. I am always happy to drive a Nissan. This time I will drive a Patrol Safari Y61. We have prepared ourselves well to try and get the maximum points we can.
“We will try to win. This rally is the best one in the cross-country and it is also a very tough race for everybody, especially for the T2s. We will try and keep the car in a good condition every day and still set a good pace. My experience from the last two years as a driver will be valuable.
“I did this race for the first time, actually, in 1993. I respect the dunes here and we need to be patient and to cross from the right places. To get stuck and to waste time is not ideal and you lose everything you have built up in a day. The race is won on the last day and not the first two days. Nasser is well prepared as well. We are feeling positive to do a good job and to represent Qatar in a good way. We hope to reach the podium with good points.
“Thanks to the Qatar government, the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) and Ooredoo Qatar for their support. The first of five desert stages gets underway on Sunday and crews will stay at a purpose-built bivouac deep in the heart of the UAE desert for four nights before the finish back in Abu Dhabi next Thursday (March 29).
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