WRC Sixth place in WRC2 for Rashid Al-Ketbi in Germany
ADAC Rally Deutschland, August 22-25
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), round 9
For immediate release
Sunday, August 25th, 2013
SKYDIVE DUBAI RALLY TEAM’S AL-KETBI FINISHES
SIXTH IN WRC2 AT ADAC RALLY DEUTSCHLAND
· Poland’s Robert Kubica wins WRC2; Sordo holds off Neuville to win rally
TRIER (Germany): Skydive Dubai Rally Team driver Rashid Al-Ketbi and German co-driver Karina Hepperle finished sixth in the competitive WRC2 category at the ADAC Rally Deutschland, round nine of this year’s FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), which finished on Sunday afternoon.
The Emirati had been running as high as fifth in his new M-Sport-built Ford Fiesta R5, but was delighted to reach the finish of the difficult rally nonetheless. Torrential rain hampered progress through some of the tricky stages on Saturday but Al-Ketbi was still able to claim vital championship points.
Poland’s Robert Kubica managed to fend off a fierce challenge from Welshman Elfyn Evans to claim the win and Haydon Paddon was third.
“It was a difficult rally and a unique challenge with the different stage surfaces,” said Al-Ketbi. “But I got used to the new car quickly and we made good progress as the rally went on.”
Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala lost his chance of taking victory after damaging his car on Saturday and that paved the way for Spaniard Dani Sordo to fight a tooth and nail battle with Belgian Thierry Neuville for outright honours.
Sordo led by just three seconds heading into the final Power Stage and the pair traded fractions of a second through the final 24.58km of the Dhrontal stage. The Spaniard managed to hold on to take his first ever WRC win after Neuville left the road near the end of the stage and lost 50 seconds.
“A really great moment for me - a long time to take my first win. I was so nervous at the beginning of the stage. It is a fantastic feeling,” said Sordo.
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 retained seventh position through the fifth Grafshaft stage and reached the end of the second day in fifth position behind Kubica, Evans, Sepp Wiegand, Haydon Paddon and Aksa.
The Emirati retained his placing after the ninth and 10th stages, where Evans reduced Kubica’s lead to just 3.6 seconds and Latvala extended his advantage over Neuville to 10.6 seconds in the overall standings. But he slipped back to seventh over the closing stages and then climbed back to sixth in SS16.
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, UK mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: email@example.com
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