Ocon pips Ceccon to pole in Yas Marina
Ghiotto was one of the last to cross the line to take the chequered flag: The Italian’s lap wasn’t enough to challenge Ocon with the Trident star having to start from the second row tomorrow. At the flag, Ocon held on to take his third consecutive pole position, ahead of Ceccon who clocked his personal best qualifying of the campaign. Kirchhöfer joins Ghiotto on the second row ahead of Jimmy Eriksson, Emil Bernstorff, Fuoco, Alex Palou, Matthew Parry and Artur Janosz.
After achieving a comfortable lead on day one, Sheikh Khalid bin Faisal Al Qassimi and Co-driver Chris Patterson decided to keep a steady pace and maintain the lead until the chequered flag at the end of the Dubai International Rally.
Al Qassimi’s strategy on the final day payed off and he won the home event with a lead of 57 sec. over 2nd place finisher AbdulAziz Al Kuwari while 3rd place went to Khalid Al Suwaidi.
“My initial strategy was to push hard till the end but after achieving a comfortable lead on day one we changed our strategy from full attack to balanced pace to defend our lead.” Al Qassimi said.
“On Day 2, we used hard tires that have low grip but longer durability which paid off because the some of the stages were very rough particularly SS8. Everything went well and I’m really happy to win my home Rally.”
In the 2WD class, the Abu Dhabi Racing junior drivers finished inside the top 10. Mohamed Al Mutawaa/Stephen McAuley won the event posting some impressive times, some even faster than the group N cars! The 2nd place was constantly changing between Saeed Bintowq/Allan Harryman and Mansour Belhelei/Khalid Al Kendi. Eventually, it was Belhelei who had the final word taking P2 and his teammate Bintouq taking P3.
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Arden International’s Kevin Ceccon was embroiled in a fight with Koiranen GP’s Jimmy Eriksson for fifth place, whilst Trident’s Artur Janosz and Carlin’s Jann Mardenborough were locked into a titanic duel for P7. On lap 4, Kirchhöfer held a 1s lead, with 1.3s covering the top three.