Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Al Qassimi drives to first win in Kuwait

Sheikh Khalid al Qassimi pulled away from the field in style yesterday to secure victory in the Kuwait International Rally

Sheikh Khalid al Qassimi pulled away from the field in style yesterday to secure victory in the Kuwait International Rally, the second stage of the Middle East Rally Championship, and take joint lead in the driver's championship. The Emirati now has 10 points, putting him level with the Qataris, Nasser Saleh al Attiyah and Sheikh Hamad al Thani.

Al Qassimi and his co-driver, the Northern Irishman Michael Orr began the final day 7.7secs ahead of the second-placed Rashid al Ketbi, and he was 49secs clear by the time he had secured his first win in Kuwait. "This win came at an important time and it has given me a great chance to challenge for the Middle East title," he said. "It is only my second event in the Ford Fiesta and I showed in Qatar that the pace is there. We were able to control the event and take no risks."

It was an Emirati one-two, with al Ketbi finishing second. His chances of victory were hit early in the day when he was forced to stop to remove sand from his Skoda's air filter - heavy dust was a recurring theme throughout the weekend - in an early stage. "It has not been easy, but this is just the start we needed," said al Qassimi, who was taking a break from the World Rally Championship where he is part of the BP Ford Abu Dhabi team who are challenging Citroen for the title.

"Rashid pushed us hard and meant we have had no margin for error." Saudi Arabia's Yazeed al Rajhi looked to have done enough for third place, rising up the field impressively having started the final day in fifth. But engine problems on the penultimate stage saw him drop out of contention, with Qatar's Khaled al Suwaidi taking advantage to take third position. The UAE's Sheikh Abdullah al Qassimi finished fourth.

lthornhill@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Al Ahli's Ismail Al Hammadi, left, battles for the ball during the Arabian Gulf Cup final between against Al Jazira at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on April 19, 2014. Al Hammadi hit the game-winner in the 81st minute for Ahli. Al Ittihad

Al Ahli maintain course for domestic treble with victory over Al Jazira in Arabian Gulf Cup

Al Ahli maintained their hopes of a domestic treble with a superb comeback victory against Al Jazira in the Arabian Gulf Cup final on Saturday night.

 Alex Kacaniklic, left, of Fulham tackles Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur during their Premier League match at White Hart Lane on April 19, 2014, in London, England. Clive Rose / Getty Images

Tottenham keep pace in chase for European places with victory over Fulham

Swansea appear to be safe after rallying past Newcastle while Crystal Palace continue their winning streak

 On a track described as a ‘tyre-killer’ in Shanghai, Lewis Hamilton went untested on his way to a 34th pole – the most by a British driver – yesterday. Carlos Barria / Reuters

Hamilton has sympathy for fans hung out to dry with wet tyre rules

The Briton takes his career's 34th pole - the most by a British driver - but sympathises it was not ideal for the ticket-paying public.

 Yuzvendra Chahal, centre, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore teammates celebrate after the bowlers set up an easy win over Mumbai Indians. Pawan Singh / The National

Bowlers set up Bangalore as Patel stand tall over Mumbai

Mumbai bowlers gave early hope but Parthiv Patel and AB de Villiers' unbeaten stand of 99 ensures second defeat for the men in blue in Dubai.

 Roelof Kotzee is leading UAE to unchartered territory. Sarah Dea / The National

UAE step into the unknown ahead of Asian Five Nations

Performance manager Roelof Kotze will give 12 players their first experience of international rugby, but there is also minimal information on Singapore ahead of first Test in Dubai on Wednesday, reports Paul Radley.

 Novak Djokovic of Serbia winces in pain during his semi-final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland at the Monte Carlo Masters on April 19, 2014. Federer prevailed to set up an all-Swiss final with Stanislas Wawrinka. SEBASTIEN NOGIER / EPA

Ailing Djokovic will ‘just rest now’ while Nadal not pressing the panic button

Djokovic says only rest will help is injured right wrist after he falls to Roger Federer on Saturday, and Nadal suffers just his third career defeat in Monte Carlo when he slumped to a shock 7-6, 6-4 quarter-final loss to compatriot Ferrer on Friday.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National