August 19, 2015 – The 38th Rally of Lebanon is the most important event on the Lebanese motorsport calendar not just because it’s a round of the Middle East Rally Championship, but also because it’s the final round of the local championship and in which most of the titles are decided.
There has been two categories this year where competition was non-existent: RC5 and RC4, with Patrick Njeim the sole driver contesting the former category onboard a Suzuki Swift Sport and Majed Khoury the only driver contesting the latter category onboard a Skoda Fabia R2. So, the titles in these categories are already secured.
Majed ranks 8th overall with 166 points, while Patrick is 15th overall with 95 points after three rallies and three Hill Climbs, taking into consideration that points from a driver’s best two Hill Climb results are counted in the rally championship.
Roger Feghali leads the overall standings with 270 points, and 39 points separate him from Rodrigue Rahi, who’s second overall and first in the Group N class, which has been hotly contested this year between himself, Eddy Abou Karam and Tamer Ghandour.
The maximum points awarded in the 38th Rally of Lebanon are 180. The overall leg winner is awarded 30 points (25 points for the overall win, 5 points for the class win – You can find the full points system in Page 43 of the this document) and Rally of Lebanon consists of two legs (Leg 1 on Friday/Saturday and Leg 2 on Sunday), so a driver would have to score an overall victory in both the first and second legs in order to earn 60 points; these 60 points are then multiplied by a coefficient of 3, which brings the total points available to 180.
Mathematically, even Patrick Njeim can secure the championship title as he currently has 95 points, and 180 points would put him on top of the standings with 275 points, but that can only happen if all 14 drivers that are ahead of him in the standings retire from ROL, which is highly unlikely.
If Rodrigue Rahi – Roger’s closest rival in the standings – wins both legs of Rally of Lebanon and takes all 180 points, he would still need Roger to earn less than 141 points in order to secure the title. So, despite being the closest to Roger, Rodrigue’s chances of winning the championship are pretty slim, and it looks like Roger’s on his way to clinch a record 11th title, but nothing is ever certain in motorsport. Who would have predicted a victory for Nicolas Amiouni last year?
Every other driver in the top 15 has a mathematical chance of winning the title as well, but their chances are even slimmer than Rodrigue’s.