August 13, 2016 – Ahmad Khaled has been a well-known name in Lebanese motorsport, competing in the Lebanese Hill Climb Championship and Lebanese Speed Test Championship before taking a year off in 2015. We recently met with Ahmad to discuss his return to the sport in 2016, his season so far and his future plan.
Q: You missed the 2015 motorsport season and your last Hill Climb appearance was back in 2013. Why, and what made you come back?
A: I stopped competing in Hill Climbs at the end of 2013 and Speed Tests at the end of 2014 because the car needed a rebuild, and I had work commitments. Motorsport is something I admire, but it requires free time and money. After I had stopped, I met Tony Helou, who rebuilt the car, which I thank him for. Tony and I had a bit of free time this year, and we used that time to work on the car so I can return to motorsport, but the full focus is on next year as this season’s been more of a practice.
A: I’m benefiting from both championships, they are two different disciplines that benefit you in different ways. I’m also considering competing in Rally of Lebanon, but that’s going to depend on my free time.
Q: You compete on a Prototype Mitsubishi Evo in both championships. Have you considered other options?
A: I’m driving the Mitsubishi Evo because it’s the only car that’s available, and it’s also in the most challenging category in which it’s very hard to climb on the podium, and to be honest, I don’t even have the time to practice and test the car, while other drivers are much more committed, which gives them an advantage.
Q: What has been your target for this year?
A: My target for this year was to get back in the game and try to familiarize myself with the car again; I wasn’t planning on competing with anyone, but of course, I always want to improve. I feel like I can get closer to the other drivers ahead in the Speed Test championship, but the Hill Climb championship is a different story and needs more time and effort.
Q: You mentioned a possible participation in Rally of Lebanon. Can you elaborate on that?
A: We’re still looking into it to be honest, it’s gonna be either me or Tony Helou behind the wheel. We have no sponsors at the moment, so if Tony ends up in the competition, I’ll be sponsoring him and if I’m gonna be the one tackling the rally, Tony’s going to sponsor me. It’s a matter of free time, whoever’s more free will be the one contesting the event.
Q: We did not see you in the Lebanese Rally Championship so far this year. Why?
A: The Lebanese Rally Championship is a big step and I was only trying to get back into the game this year, but there’s a potential plan for next season.
Q: So what’s your full plan for next season?
A: The plan for next season is to compete in three championships, Rally, Hill Climb and Speed Test; I don’t think I will be contesting all four rounds of the Lebanese Rally Championship, but the main plan is for both Tony and I to undertake the championship as one team.
The target for next season is to break into the Top 10, and the Top 5 within our category in both the Hill Climb and Speed Test championships. We’ve been working on the car, we’ve installed a new suspension and we’re going to switch to a dog box in the near future, which will hopefully help us to achieve our target.
Q: Is there anyone who’s been supporting you, anyone you would like to thank?
A: Yes of course, I would like to thank a lot of people for their support, including Tony Helou, Tony Helou Spare Parts, Auto Khaled, Bassam Youssef, Ghazi El Rayes, Christ Worldlife and you guys for the coverage. Special thanks also goes to Dany Kairouz for the moral support.