Dubai Rally heads for dramatic climax

Dubai Rally heads for dramatic climax

At the end of the leg Qatar’s Khalid Al Suwaidi, the UAE’s Shaikh Abdullah Al Qassimi and another Qatari, Abdulla Al Kuwari, completed the top six.



Dubai — The 2014 FIA Middle East Rally Championship is set for a dramatic climax, with Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah and the UAE’s Shaikh Khalid Al Qassimi locked in a tense fight to the finish in the 36th Dubai International Rally. At the end of the first leg on Friday after six special stages, Al Attiyah and Giovanni Bernacchini in a Ford Fiesta RRC led by 6.8 seconds over Al Qassimi and Chris Patterson in their Citroen DS3 following a fascinating day long duel between the two great rivals.

The Emirati driver must now produce one of the best drives of his career on the second leg if he is to beat defending champion Al Attiyah into second place in Dubai and snatch away his Middle East title by a single championship point.

Lying third in the championship, Qatari Abdulaziz Al Kuwari had also started the day with his sights still on the Middle East crown, but his hopes faded as he fell another 1:45.7 seconds adrift of in third place on the day. At the end of the leg Qatar’s Khalid Al Suwaidi, the UAE’s Shaikh Abdullah Al Qassimi and another Qatari, Abdulla Al Kuwari, completed the top six.

It was a classic Dubai International Rally day as the top two seeds fought out a great battle. Al Qassimi made his intentions clear from the start by winning the first two stages, before sharing the fastest time on the next with Al Attiyah who went on to win the last three.

In the end Al Qassimi, who is hoping to start UAE National Day celebrations early with a double title success, was left regretting the ten seconds penalty he collected for a jump start on the day’s opening stage.


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