Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi Wins Dubai International Rally 2015
Sheikh Khalid Bin Faisal Al Qassimi clinched his third Dubai International Rally win ahead of Qatari drivers Abdulaziz Al Kuwari and Khalid Al Suwaidi who bagged second and third place honours respectively. Mohamed Ben Sulayem, President of Automobile and Touring Club UAE (ATCUAE) and FIA Vice President, presented the trophies to the winners at the ceremonial finish that took place at Meydan.
Sheikh Khalid Bin Faisal Al Qassimi and his co-driver Chris Patterson in their Citroen DS3 RRC,finished the 12 stage rally in 1 hour, 58 minutes and 41 seconds.
Sheikh Khalid Bin Faisal Al Qassimi dedicated his victory to the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and extended his thanks to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for his continuous support.
Al Qassimi’s first day lead of 1 minute 44 seconds was cut short by Al Kuwari in the second day’s stages, with the Qatari closing the gap to 57 seconds. However, the Abu Dhabi team leader held on until the very end to bag a well-deserved win.
Al Qassimi added: “After leading the race on the first day, I decided to change my strategy to a more defensive one as I didn’t want to put unnecessary pressure on the car, and I was able to maintain the lead without any serious problems.”
Speaking on the close competition and battle for the title, second place winner Al Kuwari said: "I was able to lead all the stages on day two, but the tire problem I faced yesterday affected the final result, as the time I lost made it hard to catch up with the leader.”
The winner of the third place honours, Khalid Al Suwaidi said: “I wasn’t expecting to win third place as it has been dominated by Sheikh Abdulla Al Qassimi from the start of the rally, but the problems he faced with his steering wheel in the final stages gave me the opportunity to climb from fourth place and achieve the best results I have ever managed here in Dubai.”
In group (N), Lebanese racer Nassib Nassar successfully cruised to first place, while Sheikh Mohamed Bin Abdulla Al Qassimi won second place in his first Dubai International Rally outing ahead of Emirati Mansour Bin Jabr, who fought his way back to third place after he was forced to retire in the final stage of day one.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the UAE National Olympic Committee, the Dubai International Rally is one of the main attractions of the third edition of Dubai Motor Festival. The 12 rally stages stretch across 1,000 kms, with up to 255 kms of special stages.
Final Standings of Dubai International Rally 2015:
1- Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi - Chris Patterson - Citroen DS3 RRC
2- Abdulaziz Al Kuwari - Marshall Clarke - Ford Fiesta RRC
4- Khalid Al Suwaidi - Giovanni Bernacchini - Ford Fiesta RRC
3- Sheikh Abdullah Al Qassimi - Joseph Matar – Ford Fiesta RRC
5- Rashid Al Ketbi – Karina Hepperle - Ford Fiesta R5