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Mar 14, 2013 - 02:24 PM
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Kuwait Rally Sets Big Test As Al Jabri Enters New Territory
Posted by: newsla on Mar 14, 2013 - 02:23 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
Kuwait Rally Sets Big Test As Al Jabri Enters New Territory With Abu Dhabi Racing


The UAE’s Bader Al Jabri, who faces one of the biggest tests of his rallying career in Kuwait next week, is relishing the chance to continue his development as a driver with Abu Dhabi Racing in the FIA Middle East Championship.

 

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Contesting the new Group N championship which has been introduced in the Middle East series this season, the 28-year-old Emirati made a solid start to the campaign with second place in the opening round in Qatar, but knows that things are about to get tougher.

Tackling the Kuwait desert stages for the first time, Al Jabri will be up against a powerful line-up of 14 other Group N challengers in what promises to be a fiercely competitive production class battle on Friday and Saturday next week (22-23 March).

His rivals will include Qatar’s current Group N championship leader Abdulla Al Kuwari, Kuwaitis Mufeed Al Mubarak and Mishari Al Thefri, Saudi Arabia’s Ahmed Al Sabban, multiple Turkish ladies champion Burci Cetinkaya - all driving Mitsubishi Evos - and veteran UAE-based Lebanese driver Michel Saleh in a Subaru Impreza.

It all adds up to a stern examination for Al Jabri, who is partnered again by French co-driver Nicholas Clinger in an Abu Dhabi Racing Subaru N15, but one the 28-year-old is looking forward to.

“The competition is amazing, but it’s always good to be in a rally when it’s as competitive as this,” said Al Jabri. “When you’re competing at this level and you have more experienced drivers ahead of you, it gives you something to aim for.

“I’m looking forward to testing in Kuwait next week because this is my first event there and it’s important to get to know the conditions. The surface won’t be as rough as in Qatar so I won’t have to worry about punctures, but we’ll need to set up the car right for this rally.”

“I’m very keen to do well in Kuwait and my main aim is to finish the rally, rather than push to try and win Group N. You have to take things one step at a time, and take your chances when they come.”

With Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi spearheading the Abu Dhabi Racing challenge in Kuwait and pursuing a second outright FIA Middle East Championship driver’s crown, Al Badri is grateful for the chance to learn from the 2004 regional champion.

Al Jabri is a product of the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority’s Junior Driver Development Programme, which was established in 2008 to create opportunities for Emirati drivers to experience rallying at all levels.

He contested the Middle East Championship that year, as well as selected events in England, and over the next three years competed in 2WD and production classes within the World Rally Championship.

“After being out of rallying for a year I’m now getting used the car and learning again,” he said. I’m not thinking about winning, although I’d love to win eventually. At the moment, I’m just concentrating on getting a good rhythm in my driving and building my confidence.”

“I’m happy to have the chance to learn from Sheikh Khalid, and I’m grateful for the chance to compete with Abu Dhabi Racing and represent my country.”

Getting under way on 22 March, the 2013 Kuwait International Rally features 12 special stages run over two days and amounting to 372.71 km in a total route of 614.51km.


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Nasser’s Path To Victory In Dubai Threatened By UAE Duo





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