WRC Rashid Al-Ketbi enjoys first taste of Sardinian gravel rallying
Rally d’Italia Sardegna, June 20-22
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), round 7
For immediate release
Friday, June 21st, 2013
SKYDIVE DUBAI RALLY TEAM’S RASHID AL-KETBI
ENJOYS FIRST TASTE OF SARDINIAN GRAVEL RALLYING
· Frenchman Ogier holds slender outright lead over Hirvonen
· Qatar’s Al-Kuwari third in WRC2 behind Kubica and Wiegand
SASSARI (Sardinia): Skydive Dubai Rally Team driver Rashid Al-Ketbi and German co-driver Karina Hepperle held 28th overall after the opening Monte Lerno stage of the Rally d’Italia Sardegna, round seven of the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship, on Friday.
Deciding not to enter the WRC 2 category and attempt to score points in the championship in a Skoda while he awaits delivery of his new Ford Fiesta R5, the Dubai driver entered the Sardinian rally for fun and experience in a Subaru Impreza.
“This rally is not about stage times and making sure we gain points for the WRC2 championship,” said Al-Ketbi. “This is about enjoying myself, making no mistakes and getting myself in a perfect mind-set before we get hold of the R5.”
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.
Volkswagen Motorsport’s Sébastien Ogier held a 5.3-second overall lead from Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen after the first timed stage, with Evgeny Novikov in third. Acropolis Rally winner Jari-Matti Latvala lost two minutes after puncturing a front-left tyre.
Pole Robert Kubica was a class act in the WRC 2 class and was up to 11th overall and had already overtaken several World Rally Cars. Germany Sepp Wiegand and Qatar’s Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari were second and third.
Saturday’s gravel stage action is centred around the scenic forest areas of Monte Acuto and Gallura and the 16-stage event reaches a conclusion on Saturday evening at Olbia’s Molo Brin Archeological museum after around 304 competitive kilometres.
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