WRC Radiator failure thwarts Al-Ketbi's progress in Poland
LOTOS 71st Rally Poland, June 26-29
FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), round 7
For immediate release
Sunday, June 29th 2014
SKYDIVE DUBAI RALLY TEAM AL-KETBI’S BRAVE
FIGHT BACK THWARTED BY BROKEN RADIATOR
MIKOLAJKI (Poland): Skydive Dubai Rally Team driver Rashid Al-Ketbi and German co-driver Karina Hepperle put their second stage setback to the back of their minds and set some excellent stage times in LOTOS 71st Rally Poland, as the route for the seventh round of the FIA World Rally Championship passed through the Warmia and Mazury regions of northern Poland on Saturday and Sunday.
The Dubai-based driver had been setting some excellent stage times in his Ford Fiesta R5 until seven kilometres into the final run through the longest stage of the entire rally at Goldap on Saturday evening.
At that point the Ford’s radiator failed and the Emirati had little chance of continuing his charge to hunt down the WRC 2 leaders Ott Tanak of Estonia and Jari Ketomaa of Finland.
“This was an unbelievably fast and difficult rally,,” said Al-Ketbi, who had started the second day in 66th position and managed to surge back through the field over the next 16 special stages – including a pair of sandy specials that were held for the first time in WRC history across the border in Lithuania.
“It was a bad start with the incident on the second stage, but we regrouped on Friday morning and got better and better as the rally progressed. These are the fastest stages I have ever driven on – fast, technical and great experience.
“We were regularly setting top WRC 2 stage times and improving on every stage, even though I had an ECU wiring problem for a time and that cost me vital seconds. The atmosphere here was incredible with the sheer number of spectators and the changeable weather on Saturday made it that much more interesting.”
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.
Rally Poland returned to the FIA World Rally Championship for the first time since 2009 and was well received by competitors and the media and attracted some of the largest crowds ever seen in the global series.
Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, UK mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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