Despite a troublesome race, Elie Nehme walked away from Jezzine Rally 2014 with nothing but positives as he successfully finished his first rally on the new USG BORAL-sponsored Renault Clio R3.
Nehme’s target for the Rally was clear: getting to grips with the new Renault Clio R3 and most importantly, finishing the event, which is exactly what happened on Sunday afternoon as Nehme and co-driver Louay Sakr crossed the finish line without any major problems.
His rally, however, did not go completely according to plan as a broken rim 3 kilometers into the first special stage forced him to pull over for a tyre change, but trouble with the jack meant that repairs took more than required, and Nehme found himself trailing his opponents by more than 15 minutes.
“I was not so lucky on the first special stage as a rim broke on my car, and it took lengthy repairs because the jack failed, so we had trouble lifting the car. I did not want to take any risks from then on, but I decided to start from scratch in the final four special stages and I improved. My times were very close to much more experienced drivers on the same category car.
Seeing that their race for the podium was over on the first special, and having failed to test the car properly due to bad weather conditions, Nehme and Sakr decided to use the Jezzine Rally as a test bed for the upcoming rounds.
“I didn’t test the new car properly because of rainfall, so I used the rally to get to know the car more. All in all, the car felt great, but it needs more getting used to. Big thank you to my sponsors USG BORAL who have been a great support, and of course to my co-driver Louay and the team for their great job.“
Jezzine Rally 2014 consisted of six special stages accounting to 83 kilometers of the 224-kilometer total distance. Sfaray hosted one 16.17-kilometer stage (SS1), and two special stages (SS3 and SS5) on a shorter 8-kilometer course; the remaining three stages (SS2, SS4 and SS6) took place on the 16.8-kilometer special in Barti.
The third and penultimate round of the 2014 Lebanese Rally Championship, also known as the Cedars Rally, is scheduled on July 6th.