WRC Spectacular crash sidelines Rashid Al-Ketbi on third stage of Rally of Portugal
Vodafone Rally of Portugal
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), round 4
For immediate release
Saturday, April 13th, 2013
SPECTACULAR CRASH WRECKS SKYDIVE DUBAI DRIVER
RASHID AL-KETBI’S CHALLENGE IN RALLY OF PORTUGAL
· Emirati’s Skoda is badly damaged in spectacular third stage crash
ALGARVE (Portugal): Skydive Dubai Rally Team (UAE) driver Rashid Al-Ketbi’s challenge for WRC2 honours in the Vodafone Rally of Portugal came to a spectacular end on the third special stage, the 20.32km Mu special, when the Emirati lost control of his Skoda Fabia S2000 and launched the car off the track and down the side of a mountain.
The Skoda came to rest quite a distance down the side of the cliff face and was substantially damaged in the incident. Mercifully, neither Rashid nor his German co-driver Karina Hepperle was seriously injured in the incident.
“That is rallying,” reflected the disappointed Skydive Dubai Rally Team driver, who is promoting Dubai’s bid to host EXPO 2020 through his rallying exploits.
“The pace at the front was very competitive and I was forced to push quite hard after the first two stages. Thanks to God, neither of us was injured, but the car was damaged. We ended up over 230 metres off the stage down the mountain!”
The Skydive Dubai Rally Team is running in the 2013 WRC under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, and is backing the UAE’s bid for EXPO 2020.
Al-Ketbi had been locked in a furious tussle for WRC2 supremacy at the time of the accident with Finland’s Esapekka Lappi in a factory Skoda, Germany’s Sepp Wiegand and former Formula One driver Robert Kubica.
Qatar’s Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari and Jordan’s Ala’a Rasheed are also running in the WRC2 section of the three-day rally, which finishes on Sunday afternoon at the Algarve Stadium in southern Portugal.
Sunday’s action consists of just four special stages, but the two repeated specials offer their very own challenges. Surviving teams will tackle the 21.52km of the Silves stage at 08.06hrs and 12.31hrs and the mammoth 52.30km Almodovar special at 09.06hrs and 13.38hrs.
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, UK mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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