IRC Skydive Dubai Rally Team holds 27th place in Targa Florio
Targa Florio-Rally Internazionale Di Sicilia, June 14-16, 2012
Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), round 5
For immediate release
Friday, June 15th, 2012
SKYDIVE DUBAI RALLY TEAM HOLDS 27TH PLACE
AFTER THREE STAGES OF SICILY’S TARGA FLORIO
· Rashid Al-Ketbi and Khalid Al-Kendi penalised for minor first stage error
· Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen leads event by 1.1 seconds in a Skoda
CAMPOFELICE DI ROCCELLA (Sicily): The Skydive Dubai Rally Team duo of Rashid Al-Ketbi and Khalid Al-Kendi held 27th overall after the opening three special stages of the Targa Florio-Rally Internazionale di Sicilia, round five of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC), on Friday.
It could have been so much better for the Emirati duo as well had they not been penalised for a minor route violation by event stewards - after they had set the provisional fastest time through the opening 1.65km super special stage in Palermo on Thursday evening.
Their Skoda Fabia S2000 was adjudged to have inadvertently strayed from the designated route and a 90-second time penalty dropped the pair down to 38th position. “It was a simple and unfortunate mistake,” admitted Al-Ketbi.
“We came into one corner and we were sliding, sliding through the markings. When we tried to go in the right way we could not because there were some markings in the way. I didn’t cut any corners. I just couldn’t return to the right place. I’m obviously upset about the penalty but this is rally.”
The Skydive Dubai Rally Team duo, who are running in the IRC under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, promised to push hard through Friday’s fast tarmac stages and Al-Ketbi was a man of his word.
He climbed to 32nd overall through the 13.60km Targa stage with the 23rd quickest time and the 12th fastest time in the first Collesano stage catapulted the Dubai driver into 27th overall.
Norwegian Andreas Mikklesen held a slender 1.1-second lead over fellow Skoda driver Jan Kopecky in the overall standings after three of the 11 timed tests.
The 96th Targa Florio is based at Campofelice Di Roccella, east of the capital Palermo. Tomorrow (Saturday), a further two timed tests will be repeated after a further four stages on Friday afternoon before the podium ceremony takes place at 17.30hrs (CET) in the afternoon.
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