April 13, 2016 – Eddy Abou Karam and Joseph Kmeid endured a very difficult time in the opening round of the 2016 Lebanese Rally Championship, the 32nd Spring Rally, with the pair facing a rather unusual problem in the early stages of the rally as the Mitsubishi Evo X’s front hood popped open at high speed due to loose hood pins.
The duo was tackling the 14.63-kilometer special in Monsef (SS2), when Eddy began to notice vibrations in the hood just 800 meters into the stage; a couple of kilometers later, the hood fully opened and completely obstructed their visibility.
“I just continued driving and tried as much as possible to see what’s ahead, and Joseph was helping me out in the spots where I could not see, he had better visibility and the all-important pacenotes. We pulled it off in the end, although we lost a lot of time”, said 2015 Lebanese Hill Climb Group N champion Eddy Abou Karam.
Furthermore, Joseph Kmeid explained: “We didn’t know what exactly went wrong, which is why we decided to continue without stopping, we didn’t want to take any risks by stopping the car and checking whether the issue was fixable or not”.
Eddy and Joseph were 2nd in Group N before the issue dropped them to 6th after losing over a minute, but they were able to fight back to 3rd. However, a broken differential in the penultimate stage (SS7) robbed them of a podium result, and they ended up 6th in Group N and 13th overall.