October 8, 2016 – A month after the 39th Rally of Lebanon controversy, the ATCL court of appeal’s ruling has confirmed that Tamer Ghandour and Salim Jleilaty will retain their Rally of Lebanon triumph.
Tamer was announced as the winner during the rally’s podium ceremony and following the decision to hand initial victor Abdo Feghali a 5-minute time penalty for driving his Skoda Fabia R5 in a road section on a wheel with no tyre, which breached Article 20.1.5 of the 2016 FIA Regional Rally Sporting Regulations.
The aforementioned Article states: “On a road section that is a public road, a competition car may only be driven on four freely rotating wheels and tyres. Any infringements will be reported to the Stewards who may impose a penalty up to an exclusion.”
Abdo, who dropped to 2nd place overall, appealed the penalty. However, the ATCL court of appeal’s decision to uphold the penalty means that he is now officially ranked 2nd overall behind Tamer, while Eddy Abou Karam rounds out the top 3.
It is worth mentioning that Abdo finished the rally 1 minute 51.7 seconds ahead of Tamer, but the penalty puts him 3 minutes 8 seconds behind the Mitsubishi Evo X R4 driver who also clinched the Lebanese Rally Championship title.
Tamer is now the 21st name to win Rally of Lebanon, 48 years after the event’s inauguration in 1968.