Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi finished a close second in the Qatar International Rally.
Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi finished a close second in the Qatar International Rally.

Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi edged out in Qatar International Rally

Nasser Al Attiyah takes record 10th win as flat tyre hampers Emirati's hopes.

DOHA // The UAE’s Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi missed out on victory as Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah emerged triumphant after one of the closest battles in the history of the Qatar International Rally.

Driving his Autotek-run Ford Fiesta RRC in the traditional opening round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, the Qatari was made to work harder than even before for his record-breaking 10th Qatar International Rally victory and his 46th career MERC win.

Sheikh Khalid, in his Abu Dhabi Citroen Total Team DS3 car, and British navigator Scott Martin pushed Al Attiyah all the way until they suffered a flat tyre on the 10th stage.

The Qatari then pushed home his advantage over the closing kilometres to seal victory by the margin of 55.7 seconds and a maximum points' haul at the start of a new season of Middle East rallying.

"All credit to Khalid for the way he drove this week but it is fantastic for me to win," said Al Attiyah. "Winning in Qatar is always a special feeling and to take my 10th win here is superb."

Al Qassimi said: “Overall it was a fantastic event. Yes it was rough, very difficult, and I had to drive with my head. The first day I led the rally. The second day it was still a battle, and I lost first place it because of one flat tyre towards the end.

“But this is a fantastic team, a fantastic car, the atmosphere was good and I really enjoyed it. It was a good start to the year. The problem with the tyre was the only problem we had in the whole rally.

“To come here and win quite a lot of the stages [four] is very good for me. For most of the last 12 months I didn’t have much time in the car after my knee operation so overall I’m pleased with the performance.”

Qatar's Abdulaziz Al Kuwari and Khalid Al Suwaidi traded stage times in their Ford Fiesta RRCs and Al Kuwari, last year's winner, managed to hold his overnight lead to the finish and take the final podium position.

Sheikh Abdullah Al Qassimi set consistent stage times during the course of the two days and reached the finish in fifth position with British co-driver Steve Lancaster.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Glenn Maxwell's knock that followed ensured Brendon McCullum's knock went in vain after his explosive half-century took Chennai Super Kings past the 200-mark. Ravindranath K / The National

All is well with Punjab as Maxwell and Miller seal win against Chennai

The Australian missed out on a century but his 95 runs, along with Miller's unbeaten half-century, ensured Kings XI scaled a mighty peak of a target in a hot first game of Abu Dhabi's double-header.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet protests during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northeast England, on March 15, 2014. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Sunderland going out of Premier League with a grumble

Northeast club have underwhelmed during seven-year stay in the top flight

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 At 105 kg, Gabrielle Garcia has dominated the world circuit and loves many things about being in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Garcia seeks fresh challenge in MMA after her jiu-jitsu domination

Brazilian prides being a lioness in the sport but feels she can shed 25kg weight to pursue her MMA debut aspirations.

 England's Jonathan Trott hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy semi final match against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground, London June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

England’s Jonathan Trott sidelined with stress-related illness again

Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness as England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire confirmed he will stop playing with immediate effect.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National