x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi misses mark but continues his Middle East Rally pursuit

Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi could not catch Qatar's Nasser Al Attiyah in Kuwait but remains optimistic in his chase for the FIA Middle East Rally Championship title.

UAE’s Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi finished second on Saturday in Kuwait. Courtesy MERC
UAE’s Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi finished second on Saturday in Kuwait. Courtesy MERC

Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi is remaining optimistic about his chances of winning the Middle East Rally Championship despite being beaten by Nasser Al Attiyah at the Kuwait International Rally on Saturday.

The UAE driver finished second behind his Qatari rival for the second successive event and now trails by 14 points in the championship standings.

Sheikh Khalid, who was spearheading the Abu Dhabi Racing (ADR) challenge in his Abu Dhabi Citroen Total World Rally Team DS3, blamed setup problems for his lack of pace on the first day of the event on Friday, which contributed heavily to his final one minute, 13.9 seconds deficit to Al Attiyah.

"I'm disappointed with the result, but at least we were moving in the right direction at the end," he said.

"We didn't have enough traction on the first leg and today the suspension was too soft. The car still needs work and there wasn't enough time to make a difference today, but there's a long way to go in the championship yet."

Meanwhile, Mohammed Al Sahlawi edged out ADR teammate Mohammed Al Mutawaa to win the new two-wheel drive (2WD) class which has been introduced into the championship this season.

Al Sahlawi, driving a Citroen DS3 R3 2WD, finished a highly commendable 12th overall, one place ahead of Al Mutawaa.

Al Sahlawi said: "I wanted to push harder today as I'm getting used to the car, but with the other cars kicking up sand it was very difficult to see, so I was just happy to make it to the finish ramp."

The next round of the championship is in Jordan between May 9 and 11.

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