CC Saudi's Owaid Mansi claims victory in Ha'il International Rally
HA’IL INTERNATIONAL CROSS-COUNTRY RALLY – March 21-27, 2014
For immediate release
Thursday, March 27th, 2014
SAUDI’S OWAID MANSI AND HAMAD NASSER
CLAIM VICTORY IN HA’IL INTERNATIONAL RALLY
· Khalaf Joan Al-Shammeri edged into second; Al-Shuhail in third
· Abdul Majeed Khulaifi wins bike/quad category on a Kawasaki
HA’IL (Saudi Arabia): The Saudi Arabian duo of Owaid Mansi and Hamad Nasser snatched victory from Khalaf Joan Al-Shammeri and Joan Al-Shammeri on the final selective section of the FIA-sanctioned Ha’il International Rally, Saudi Arabia’s premier off-road motor sport event, across the An Nafud desert on Thursday.
They reached the finish of the 146.02km section at Kna’ in a time of 2hr 19min 07sec and that was sufficient to overhaul their fellow Toyota Land Cruiser rivals to take the biggest win of their careers. Ahmed Al-Shuhail set the quickest time on the final section to confirm third overall in his Nissan.
“The rally was very strong this year and the organisation was far better than in previous years,” said Khalaf Joan, who stopped on Wednesday’s stage to check that Khalid Al-Jafla was okay when he ground to a halt with mechanical issues and that sporting gesture may well have cost him the title.
“There has been a very strict compliance with the FIA regulations, which is a good step for this event and for the sport in the region. There were lots of changes on the leader board and that made it very interesting. I’m delighted to finish in this position, but one place higher would have been even better.”
Once all the time penalties and route vagaries had been assessed, Khaled Joan Al-Shammeri began the final 146.02km with a slender lead of just 1min 13sec over Owaid Mansi after nearly 13 hours of racing. Ahmed Al-Suhail was promoted to third when Mutair Al-Shammeri was handed a hefty time penalty and Salman Al-Shammeri was fourth. Ahmed Al-Sabban had made steady progress as the event progressed and started the last stage in eighth overall with his Ford Raptor.
Ibrahim Al-Muhanna made the early running from the start at Dlehan and was the quickest driver at the second passage control, the Nissan man running a mere one-second quicker than Al-Shuhail. Overnight leaders Khaled Joan and Owaid Mansi were down in 13th and 11th positions and Mansi had earned the unofficial overall lead.
Al-Shuhail claimed the virtual stage lead at PC3 from Muhanna and Ahmed Al-Sabban, but the two leaders were struggling as the pressure intensified at the top of the leader board over the closing kilometres. Al-Shuhail held on to claim the stage win by 3min 10sec from Al-Muhanna and guaranteed himself at least third overall. But Mansi stayed far enough ahead of Khalaf Joan to claim the win.
Meshal Al-Khaledi headed into the final selective section with a lead of 18min 46sec over Abdul Majeed Khulaifi in the motorcycle and quad category. The Saudi Yamaha rider just needed to stay out of trouble over the closing kilometres to record the biggest win of his career. Hamid Al-Hedyyan started the last stage in third overall.
But Al-Khaledi failed to reach the first passage control and this handed the virtual overall lead to Khulaifi who held third on the special at PC2 behind Ahmed Al-Nasser and Al-Hedyyan. Al-Nasser held on to comfortably win the final stage and Al-Khaledi confirmed the overall win.
This year’s event was organised by the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF) and was staged under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Saud Bin Abdul Mohsen Bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Ha’il, President of the Supreme Commission for Ha’il Development and the Head of the Supreme Commission of the Ha’il Rally.
Cars tackled a total of 856.70km of competition in a route of 1,685.83km. Bikes raced across 455.14km in a shorter route of 1,523.94km
The SAMF runs under the chairmanship of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Bandar Al-Faisal and the event was organised in conjunction with the High Authority for the Development of Ha’il.
Positions after final leg – Thursday (unofficial @ 13.15hrs):
1. Owaid Mansi (SAU)/Hamad Nasser (SAU) Toyota 15hr 18min 34sec
2. Khalaf Joan Al-Shammeri (SAU)/Joan Al-Shammeri (SAU) Toyota 15hr 25min 00sec
3. Ahmed Al-Shuhail (SAU)/Abdulaziz Ashfour (SAU) Nissan 15hr 28min 51sec
4. Ibrahim Muhanna (SAU)/Ali Obaid (ARE) Nissan 15hr 50min 54sec
5. Salman Al-Shammeri (SAU)/Rasheed Al-Tiwyawi (SAU) Toyota 16hr 23min 06sec
6. Ali Al-Kitbi (ARE)/Rashid Al-Shamsi (ARE) Nissan Patrol 16hr 41min 51sec
7. Ahmed Al-Sabban (SAU)/Adel Hussein (QAT) Ford Raptor 16hr 49min 43sec
8. Niaf Al-Otaibi (SAU)/Fahad Al-Sfiani (SAU) Nissan 16hr 49min 48sec
9. Motab Saud (SAU)/Issa Masoud (SAU) Toyota 17hr 00min 37sec
10. Rajih Al-Shammeri (SAU)/Mubarak Al-Shammeri (SAU) Nissan 17hr 31min 52sec
11. Fares Al-Mshna (SAU)/Abdullah Al-Qnon (SAU) Nissan 17hr 54min 50sec
*results provisional at time of going to press and exclude additional time penalties that may be added later by race officials
For further media information:
English: Neil Perkins, 2014 Ha’il International Cross-Country Rally, International Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases). Twitter: @LordPerkins.
Arabic: Firas Nimri, 2014 Ha’il International Cross-Country Rally, National Press Officer, Mobile: + 962 777 282000, E-mail: email@example.com.