Lebanese rally driver Elie Nehme is entering the 2014 Jezzine Rally this weekend in a Renault Clio R3 sponsored by USG Boral, after having driven a 1600cc Suzuki Swift Sport last year, and looks forward to the challenges ahead.
Nehme’s move from the Suzuki to the Renault was prompted by his desire to move up through the ranks and compete for regular podium finishes in the front-wheel drive class.
“It was time to move on from the Suzuki and compete on a higher level. I will be driving a Renault Clio R3 with an Access engine in the upcoming Jezzine Rally, and I will take advantage of the event to test for the upcoming rounds.” said Nehme.
Nehme’s target for the 2014 Jezzine Rally is to get to grips with his new car before the Cedars Rally and Rally of Lebanon, and to finish the event without any problems or difficulties. He will be aiming for a podium spot if everything goes according to plan.
He added: “I will definitely be aiming for the podium if all goes well, but first I have to get used to the new car, so I’ll try not to take any risks. I will test the car on Wednesday, followed by Recce on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I’m quite familiar with the second special stage, but I need to get accustomed to the first one.”
Louay Sakr will be Nehme’s co-driver in Jezzine Rally and the remainder of the season; his experience will surely boost the team’s chances of scoring a good result. Elie is adamant that with Louay Sakr’s expertise and USG Boral’s backing, he will be able to impress, and he is thankful for their support this season.
Nehme made his rallying return at the Summer Rally last year after a 10-year absence. His absence was attributed to the lack of funding and his career overseas, but he has managed to get full backing from USG Boral for the current season.
He finished 15th overall and took the Class 9 victory in the Suzuki Swift Sport at the 2013 Summer Rally, he followed up the success with another class victory at the 36th Rally of Lebanon.
The 2014 Jezzine Rally kicks off at 9:00 AM on Sunday, May 25th, from Jezzine Main Square. Drivers will contest six special stages accounting to 83 kilometers of the 224 km total distance.