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Mar 18, 2014 - 08:42 PM
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Kuwait International Rally - Preview
Posted by: newsla on Mar 18, 2014 - 08:41 PM
WRC Rally News 2010
Kuwait International Rally - Preview


Almost exactly one month after the opening round, the FIA Middle East Rally Championship heads for Kuwait in the North East of the Arabian Gulf. The event was part of the MERC race calendar when the championship was first contested thirty years ago. Absent between 1990 and 1994, and then from 1997 to 2008, the organisation has since returned to the international motorsport scene.

 

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Renowned for its very smooth and extremely fast course, the Kuwait Rally has been a happy hunting ground for Khalid Al Qassimi in the past, winning here in 2010. Runner-up last year, the Abu Dhabi driver produced some top-level performances, recording stages wins at an average speed of over 120kph!

For this year’s race, Khalid Al Qassimi intends to build on his experience, setting his sights higher still: “My goal is to fight for the win. To prepare properly for the event and to define the best possible set-up, we carried out some tests at the start of the week. That will ensure we go into the race with as much confidence as possible. As always, I think the fight at the front will be intense; we’ll need to be on the pace right from the word go.”

In addition to the DS3 RRC of Khalid Al Qassimi, the five Citroën DS3 R3s of the Abu Dhabi Racing – Citroën Middle East Trophy feature in the line-up at this, the second round of the season. After a year spent learning about rallying at this level, Mohamed Al Mutawaa/Stephen McAuley and Mohamed Al Sahlawi/Craig Parry will almost certainly be going up against one other for the “two-wheel drive” category win. Having won the first battle in Qatar, Al Mutawaa will be looking to keep up his good form.

In their quest for experience, Saeed Bintouq/Allan Harryman, Juma Al Falasi/John Higgins and Mansoor Bel Helei/Khalid Al Kendi will above all be aiming to get to the finish without making any mistakes.

“The young Emirati drivers produced some strong performances in Qatar, especially as it is rally that reputed for its harsh and unforgiving stages,” analysed Khalid Al Qassimi. “The challenge in Kuwait is different, which means the drivers will be facing fresh difficulties and they will need to control their cars a little bit more.”

The Kuwait International Rally is due to get underway on Thursday evening with a super special stage held on the Sirbb circuit. The rally will be contested on Friday and Saturday, with each leg featuring six stages. The rally is scheduled to finish at 4.30pm local time, after a total of 222 kilometres of timed sections.


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