Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 October 2019

Nasser Al Attiyah ‘ready and confident’ of defending Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge title

The two-time defending World Cup for Cross Country Rallies champion is in confident mood as he starts the defence of his Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge crown.
Nasser Al Attiyah in action during the Dubai International Baja. Courtesy: Total Communications
Nasser Al Attiyah in action during the Dubai International Baja. Courtesy: Total Communications

Nasser Al Attiyah, the two-time defending World Cup for Cross Country Rallies champion, is in confident mood as he starts the defence of his Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge crown and is keen to build on his Dubai International Baja campaign.

Ready for the Challenge

“I will try and do my best here in this race,” said the Qatari, who started the defence of his World Cup crown with victory in Dubai last month. “I have a lot of experience and I feel my car is ready for the tough challenge ahead — not just my car, but me, my co-driver, my team. We all are ready and we are confident of defending the title.”

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A special race

Al Attiyah had started his 2016 World Cup campaign in Abu Dhabi and, after winning the Desert Challenge by an impressive 33 minutes, he went on to win each of the other five races he entered to finish 164 points clear at the top. “This race is really very special,” he said. “It is a lot of dunes and that’s what makes me focus a lot more. It increases my determination to do well here and I want to win again this time.”

Proud of achievements

A two-time Dakar Rally champion and also winner of a shooting bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, Al Attiyah, 46, is proud of what he has achieved in his career behind the wheel of a car. “I have been competing in the Middle East championships for a long time and I have won the title 12 times,” he said. “I have been competing in cross country as well, won [three] World Cups and the Dakar Rally. So I am really happy with what I have achieved.”

No plans to quit

Al Attiyah, however, has no plans of hanging up his rallying boots any time soon. “I feel I can give 10 more years to the sport,” said Al Attiyah, who first fell in love with the sport as a 13-year-old when he took his Nissan Patrol out into the desert. “I am not talking about driving just to make up the numbers, but competing strongly for 10 more years and winning titles, winning every race and every championship. I want to keep going. No plans to hang up my boots yet.”

arizvi@thenational.ae

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Updated: March 31, 2017 04:00 AM

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