Tag Archives: Khalid Al-Qassimi

Dubai International Rally

Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi powering his Abu Dhabi Citroen DS3 in Cyprus today.
Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi powering his Abu Dhabi Citroen DS3 in Cyprus


BWdaBRjCAAEJcFS.jpg-largeThe FIA Middle East Rally Championship concludes this weekend in the United Arab Emirates at the Dubai International Rally. This will therefore practically be a home event for Khalid Al Qassimi, who will be competing alongside Scott Martin in his Citroën DS3 RRC. The Abu Dhabi driver makes no secret of his hopes of completing his first season at Citroën Racing with a win.

Reputed around the world as growing tourist, sporting and cultural hot spot, Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. Created in the middle of the 1980s, the Dubai International Rally joined the FIA Middle East Rally Championship in 1997.

Used to travelling around the planet to take part in WRC rallies, Khalid Al Qassimi feels at home at this event since Abu Dhabi and Dubai are only separated by around a hundred kilometres. The Emirati has won the rally on two previous occasions, in 2005 and 2006.

This year, his aim is to rack up another win in the Arabian gulf: “I’ve not had much success on this rally in recent years, but I hope it will be different this year! As with each round of the championship, this event has its own distinctive features. The vast majority of the stages place greater emphasis on out-and-out speed in the desert. But there are also many changes in pace, with some very technical sections. I am very determined to fight for first place. Winning this rally for a third time would mean a lot to me and especially to my country. It would also be a great way to conclude the first season of Abu Dhabi Racing’s and Citroën Racing’s partnership.”

Competing in their Citroën DS3 R3s, the young drivers selected by Abu Dhabi Racing will also be looking to finish their first season – which they have spent learning about rallying at this level – on a high. With two wins and two runner-up spots in the 2WD category, Mohamed Al Sahlawi is almost certain to beat Mohamed Al Mutawaa to the title, the latter having only won once and finished as runner-up once.

The rally is set to begin with the ceremonial start on Thursday evening near to Burj Khalifa which, at some 828 metres tall, is the largest tower in the world. The race will be contested over two legs on Friday, 29 November and Saturday, 30 November. The event features twelve timed stages, with a total distance of 264km.

Abu Dhabi Racing and Citroën Racing will be holding further selection sessions aimed at identifying promising young Emirati drivers. Candidates will be assessed at the Yas Marina circuit on 2-3 December.


RALLY AUSTRALIA – 12-15/09/2013 – DAY 2—

2013030861Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen consolidated their second position throughout day two of the rally. After Kris Meeke and Chris Patterson went off the road, all hopes of a good result for the Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team rest with the Finnish pair.

The second leg took the crews to the south of Coffs Harbour, on stages held on the gravel roads of New South Wales. The competitors kicked off the day by tackling the 50 kilometre-long Nambucca, the rally’s longest stage!

The first splits reflected the intensity of the battle between Mikko Hirvonen and Sébastien Ogier, who swapped the best virtual time on several occasions. The overall leader ended up having the final say, Mikko having eased off as they approached the end of the stage. “I was pushing really hard, but I had a bit of a scary moment on a hairpin. I came out of the corner too wide and the rear of the car wasn’t really on the road anymore. I had a lucky escape and eased off a bit at the end of the stage,” reported the Finnish driver. “There is still a long way to go, but I don’t think we can close the gap in normal racing conditions. I am going to maintain a good rhythm, without taking any major risks.”

Kris Meeke also consolidated his fourth position in the Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT’s other DS3 WRC: “As requested by the team, I’m not trying to battle with Thierry Neuville. My aim is above all to make it to the end of the rally. On these very fast stages, I’m especially cautious. I feel good in the car and hope to continue to rack up more experience this afternoon.”

Unfortunately, the Northern Irishman’s good intentions didn’t prevent him from going off the road on SS13. The no.3 DS3 WRC rolled seven times down a steep hillside, leaving the Brit no option but to retire from the leg. “It’s quite simple. I made a mistake by braking a little bit too late. The car turned into the corner, but we ran wide and slipped off the road and down a steep bank into a field. We rolled several times, very slowly,” explained Kris on his return to the service park. “I’m terribly disappointed, for myself but especially for the team who had put their trust in me. I’m just very sorry.”

Citroën Racing’s mechanics will do everything they can to repair the car in time for the crew to rejoin the race tomorrow under Rally2 rules.

This unfortunate incident meant Mikko Hirvonen had to be a little more cautious in holding onto his second position. Forty seconds off the pace, winning the rally seems beyond Mikko unless the leader runs into trouble. “There’s not much to say about this afternoon’s loop. The second runs were very hard on the tyres and so I tried to look after them,” explained Mikko. “My aim for tomorrow will be to hold onto second place. Another podium finish would enable us to score some important points.”

Continuing their disciplined race, Khalid Al-Qassimi and Scott Martin moved up to ninth position following Kris Meeke’s retirement. “When I don’t feel confident, I find it hard to push,” admitted the Emirati. “Starting in first position on the road didn’t make my job any easier, especially on the first stage where there was a lot of loose dirt. I tried different driving styles and we have worked on the set-up. We’ll continue with the same approach tomorrow.”
















1 Ogier / Ingrassia VW Polo R WRC



2 Hirvonen / Lehtinen Citroën DS3 WRC



3 Neuville / Gilsoul Ford Fiesta RS WRC



4 Latvala / Anttila VW Polo R WRC



5 Mikkelsen / Nagle VW Polo R WRC



6 Østberg / Andersson Ford Fiesta RS WRC



7 Novikov / Minor Ford Fiesta RS WRC



8 Quinn / MacNeall Mini JCW WRC



9 Al Qassimi / Martin Citroën DS3 WRC



10 Al-Kuwari / Duffy Ford Fiesta RRC


















Mikko Hirvonen

Jarmo Lehtinen


Kris Meeke

Chris Patterson


Khalid Al Qassimi

Scott Martin




Overall standings




Overall standings




Overall standings


SS11: Nambucca 1 (49.90km)

2nd +5.3


2nd +25.3


5th +19.2


4th +57.8




10th +7:05.0


SS12: Valla 1 (14.84km)

2nd +2.3


2nd +27.6


5th +9.8


4th +1:07.6


12th +41.9


10th +7:46.9


SS13: Nambucca 2 (49.90km)

2nd +7.1


2nd +34.7




9th +1:53.8


10th +9:40.7


SS14: Valla 2 (14.84km)

6th +7.5


2nd +42.2




10th +28.1


9th +10:08.8


SS15: Coffs 5 (1.60km)

4th +1.7


2nd +43.9




14th +9.6


9th +10:18.4


SS16: Coffs 6 (1.60km)

5th +2.0


2nd +45.9




10th +4.6


9th +10:23.0





Day 1 – SS1: Mikkelsen – SS2 to SS9: Ogier – SS10: Latvala.

Day 2 – SS11 to SS16: Ogier.


Ogier, 14 fastest times – Latvala and Mikkelsen, 1 each.


SS1: Mikkelsen – SS2 to SS16: Ogier.