Al Rajhi extends Ha’il International rally lead

Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al Rajhi extended his advantage in the Ha’il International Rally after crushing the opposition in the first 256km selective section through the An Nafud desert region on Monday.

The Hummer driver, partnered by French co-driver Alex Winocq, stopped the clocks in a time of 2hrs 29min 18sec to reach the stage finish 19 minutes quicker than nearest rival Sami Al Shammeri from the Saudi Isuzu team. Czech driver Miroslav Zapletal maintained second overall with the third quickest time in the second Hummer.

Yazeed Al Rajhi was happy with the performance of his car

“I am very happy with the performance of the car,” said Al Rajhi, who is chasing his fourth victory in Ha’il. “The car is very fast and we have been really pushing hard in the stage. The only real drama was when we lost the intercom for the last 100km.”

Sami Al Shammeri duly climbed to third in the overall standings at the stage finish, near Qana, and fellow Saudis Farhan Abdullah Al Shammeri, Meteb Saud Al Shammeri and Ahmed Al Shaqawi rounded off the unofficial top six.

Engine problems thwarted the challenge of Saudi Toyota FJ Cruiser driver Mtair Al Shammeri before the start and Emirati Nooh bu Hmaid failed to start after suffering from electrical problems. Mtair is hoping to start the second selective section on Tuesday. Saudi’s Ammar Al Suhail and Abdul Al Saleh stopped early in the special with mechanical problems.

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