DUBAI (UAE): Qatar’s Adel Abdulla has pieced together a last-minute deal to take part in the Dubai International Baja, this weekend’s second round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies.
The 2016 FIA T2 World Champion appeared to have run out of time to transport his car to the UAE in time to take the ceremonial start at the Dubai Autodrome on Thursday evening. But the Doha-based driver reached a late agreement to rent a Nissan Patrol Y62 that was formerly used by Abu Dhabi-based Lebanese driver Emil Khneisser on rounds of the FIA World Cup.
Adel and fellow Qatari co-driver Nasser Al-Kuwari collected points for second place in the FIA T2 Championship at the opening round in the frozen forests of the Russian Republic of Karelia last month, but the heat and dust of the UAE’s Al-Qudra Desert will be a totally different experience and one that is more suited to Adel’s vast experience in Middle East motor sport.
“In the end we had the approval from the Emirates to be able to start the race, but we were not able to ship my car in the time we had available,” said Adel Abdulla. “I am delighted that we have been able to rent the Y62, the car that was used by Emil Khneisser, and I hope that this car has been prepared very well. I will be looking to try and take the win and ensure that I score as many points as possible.”
Adel’s 2018 rallying programme would not have been possible without the support of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), the Qatar Government and Ooredoo Qatar and he personally thanked His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani for his support.”
Formerly run as the Dubai International Rally the final round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, the event switched to a cross-country format two years ago and is based at the Dubai Autodrome for the first time this year. It gets underway with a ceremonial start tomorrow evening (Thursday).
The first of two 173km selective sections fires into life on Friday morning (March 9) and a second timed section follows on Saturday before the finish at the Dubai Autodrome from 18.30hrs.
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies – T2 standings after round 1:
- Alexey Titov (RUS) 25pts
- Adel Abdulla (QAT) 15pts
- Yulilya Khegay Migunova (RUS) 12pts