Qatar’s Adel Abdulla closed the gap on FIA T2 World Championship leader Ahmed Al-Shegawi by finishing in a hard–earned third overall in the category for series production cross-country vehicles at Rally Kazakhstan on Saturday.
The fifth round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies was fought out over six days and around 1,900 competitive kilometres in the western Kazakh deserts.
Adel and fellow Qatari navigator Nasser Al-Kuwari rented a Toyota Land Cruiser and overcame early delays to set three fastest stage times from the six specials on the way to crucial championship points.
They managed to reduced Al-Shegawi’s lead from 56 to an unofficial 26 points on an event where victory fell to Russia’s Konstantin Ivanov after early leader Kirill Chernenkov of Kazakhstan sustained time penalties after mechanical issues.
Adel said: “Thankfully we finished the race in third position and we won three stages out of the six. Today we didn’t push. We drove normally to reach the finish. There was no need to push anymore. After all the problems we had in the second day with the accident with the front screen, we are happy to get the 30 points. This is very important for the championship. The gap is now only 26 points.
« I say thank you to my co-driver Nasser. The navigation was very difficult and the terrain was not easy. He had to concentrate at high speed. It was a good experience with a new car for me. It is the second time I drive this car. Now we have six more rounds in the championship.
Adel Abdulla’s campaign to win back the FIA T2 Championship is running with valuable support from the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), Ooredoo Qatar.
« I also thank the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation and Ooredoo for their support. »
Action in the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies resumes with the Italian Baja next month.
2018 Rally Kazakhstan – T2 positions after SS6 (provisional):
1. Konstantin Ivanov (RUS)/Alexandr Gorkov (RUS) Toyota Land Cruiser, 28hrs 37min 08sec
2. Marat Abykayev (KAZ)/Nursultan Abykayev (KAZ) Toyota Land Cruiser, 29hrs 12min 20sec
3. Adel Abdulla (QAT)/Nasser Al-Kuwari (QAT) Toyota Land Cruiser, 32hrs 21min 50sec
4. Kirill Chernenkov (KAZ)/Alekey Mun (KAZ) Nissan Patrol, 136hrs 44min 09sec
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies – T2 standings after round 5 (unofficial):
1. Ahmed Al-Shegawi (SAU), 125 pts
2. Adel Abdulla (QAT), 99 pts
3. Konstantin Ivanov (RUS), 50 pts
4. Yuliya Khegay-Migunova (RUS), 42 pts
5. Marat Abykayev (KAZ), 36 pts
6. Alexey Titov (RUS), 25 pts
7. Kirill Chernenkov (KAZ), 24 pts