WRC Rashid Al-Ketbi holds seventh in WRC2 after three German WRC stages
ADAC Rally Deutschland, August 22-25
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), round 9
For immediate release
Friday, August 23rd, 2013
SKYDIVE DUBAI RALLY TEAM’S RASHID AL-KETBI MAKES
SOLID START TO GERMAN RALLY CAMPAIGN IN NEW FIESTA
· Poland’s Robert Kubica heads WRC2; Latvala leads outright for Volkswagen
TRIER (Germany): Skydive Dubai Rally Team driver Rashid Al-Ketbi and German co-driver Karina Hepperle were classified eighth at the start of the third special stage in the WRC2 category at ADAC Rally Deutschland, round nine of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), on Friday.
The pair tackled that tricky third 22.95km special through the Mosel vineyard region with confidence and seventh place ensured that the Emirati headed into the remainder of Friday’s demanding tarmac special stages in seventh position in WRC2.
Poland’s Robert Kubica held a 13.5-second category lead over Welshman Elfyn Evans, as he bids to try and close in on Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari’s championship lead in the Qatari’s absence from the German round of the series.
“I have settled into the car well and have been posting some good times,” said Al-Ketbi. “The goal is to reach the finish and not damage the car obviously, but we still want to achieve the best result possible.”
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.
Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala led the field outright after the third stage at Mittelmosel. When championship leader Sébastien Ogier of France lost 90 seconds and slipped to 12th, Latvala inherited a slender lead of 5.8 seconds over third stage winner, Thierry Neuvile, of Belgium.
ADAC Rally Deutschland began with a presentation of the cars and drivers at the Roncalliplatz in Cologne before crews tackled the 23.54km Blankenheim special stage on Thursday evening.
Kubica set the pace in the WRC2 category with a time of 12min 46.8sec to take an 11.1-second lead over Evans. Al-Ketbi set the eighth quickest time in his new Fiesta and Ogier led the rally outright by 4.6 seconds from Latvala.
Kubica again topped the times in the second Sauertel stage to lead the WRC2 category. Al-Ketbi was seventh quickest and maintained eighth place at the overnight halt.
The rally continues through the Mosel wine region on Saturday and Sunday with three stages repeated three times on Saturday and two runs through the 24.58km Dhrontal stage rounding off proceedings on Sunday. The second of those specials acts as the Power Stage for extra championship points.
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