WRC Skydive Dubai Rally Team's Rashid Al-Ketbi prepares for Polish WRC challenge
LOTOS 71st Rally Poland, June 26-29
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), round 7
For immediate release
Monday, June 23rd 2014
SKYDIVE DUBAI RALLY TEAM’S AL-KETBI PREPARES FOR POLISH WRC CHALLENGE
· Rashid Al-Ketbi finishes third overall in Warminski Rally warm-up event
· Rally Poland returns to WRC for first time since 2009 in Mikolajki
MIKOLAJKI (Poland): Skydive Dubai Rally Team driver Rashid Al-Ketbi and German co-driver Karina Hepperle return to FIA World Rally Championship action this week, when they tackle LOTOS 71st Rally Poland, round seven of the prestigious rally series.
Based at the town of Mikolajki in north-eastern Poland, the event returns to the WRC calendar for the first time since 2009. Dubai-based Al-Ketbi has been preparing for the three days of gravel action by taking part in a smaller event in Poland.
The Skydive Dubai Rally Team crew tackled the 11-stage Warminski Rally in their Ford Fiesta R5 and finished first of the R5s, second in WRC2 and third overall. Multiple Polish and former European Champion Krzysztof Holowczyc won the event in a similar Ford Fiesta R5.
“Both Karina and I are looking forward to this rally now,” said Al-Ketbi, who finished 11th in the WRC 2 category at the Vodafone Rally of Portugal and also took outright victory in a Romanian round of the FIA European Rally Trophy. “I’m ready for this race after Romania and I think after the Warminski event last weekend I have the set-up ready for the big rally in Poland.
“We will try our best to push and try and take a good place in the rally. I changed my team after the WRC in Portugal and I worked with that new team in Romania. Everything worked well there. The car is still new and strong.”
Al-Ketbi’s WRC 2 rivals in Poland include Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi, Finland’s Jari Ketomaa, Kuwait’s Saleh bin Eidan and Estonian Ott Tanak.
The route for LOTOS 71st Rally Poland has been heavily revised since it returned to the calendar in 2009. It remains at its base in the Masurian Lake District, but now combines special stages in both Poland and neighbouring Lithuania.
Thursday’s timetable features three afternoon special stages and one in the dark, before the route crosses the border into Lithuania on Friday and also features a remote service in Druskininkai. Four Lithuanian stages are sandwiched between a morning stage and two evening specials in Poland.
The second and third legs on Saturday and Sunday are based in the Polish provinces of Warmia and Mazury, east and north-east of Mikolajki, while the Mikolajki Arena will also host four super special stages, including two held under floodlights with cars competing in pairs.
The Skydive Dubai Rally Team is running in the 2014 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 promoting Dubai’s hosting of EXPO 2020.
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