WRC Rashid Al-Ketbi on track for podium finish in Rallye de France-Alsace
Rallye de France-Alsace, October 3-6
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), round 11
For immediate release
Saturday, October 5th, 2013
SKYDIVE DUBAI RALLY TEAM’S RASHID AL-KETBI MAINTAINS
PODIUM PLACING AFTER STUNNING DRIVE IN FRANCE
· Polish star Robert Kubica leads WRC2 from Evans and Al-Ketbi
· Belgian Thierry Neuville on course for maiden WRC victory
STRASBOURG (France): Skydive Dubai Rally Team driver Rashid Al-Ketbi and German co-driver Karina Hepperle were on course for their best result of the season in the WRC2 category of the FIA World Rally Championship on Saturday.
The duo held a superb third position in Rallye de France-Alsace after eight timed special stages in their Ford Fiesta R5. Only former Formula One star Robert Kubica and Welshman Elfyn Evans were ahead of the Dubai driver.
“I felt confident all along that I could make the podium here,” enthused Al-Ketbi. “Robert is driving very well and is the man to track in WRC2, but I have been having a great battle with Elfyn and we are well clear of the chasing pack.”
Mexican driver Ricardo Trivino is fourth in WRC2, albeit a massive 5min 22.9secs behind the Skydive Dubai Rally Team star.
Meanwhile, Belgian Thierry Neuville was the surprise outright leader. The Ford driver had extended his advantage to 16.6 seconds after nine timed speed tests. Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala was second and Spaniard Dani Sordo was third. The French Sébastiens, Ogier and Loeb, were a somewhat subdued fourth and fifth on their home WRC rally.
Saturday was the longest of the entire rally with 134.93km of timed tests through the Haut-Rhin region and a special stage in Mulhouse.
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 was in superb form through Friday afternoon’s special stages. He climbed to second in the WRC2 category behind Kubica on the third stage and retained his position until he was passed by the talented Welshman Elfyn Evans on SS5. But the Emirati stayed well clear of the chasing pack and reached the end of the leg in a comfortable third place behind Kubica and Evans.
There are a further six stages on Sunday, totalling just 56.58km, before the finish in Strasbourg.
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, UK mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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