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CC One-third of Sealine Rally entry to drive Nissan Patrols


MEDIA INFORMATION

FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, round 3
Sealine Cross-Country Rally, April 17-22

For immediate release
Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

ONE-THIRD OF CAR FIELD IN NEXT WEEK’S SEALINE
CROSS-COUNTRY RALLY SET TO DRIVE NISSAN PATROLS

· Qatar’s Adel Hussein Abdullah aims for second successive T2 win in Nissan
· Lebanon’s Khneisser hoping for better fortune in Qatar’s FIA World Cup round

DOHA (QATAR): Nissans dominate the entry list for the Sealine Cross-Country Rally, round three of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, which takes place across the State of Qatar on April 17-22.

The Japanese manufacturer will be represented by a staggering 15 Nissan Patrol derivatives – one third of the entire 45-car entry – for the gruelling five-day off-road challenge that passes over some of the wildest and most demanding terrain in the country.

Adel Hussein Abdullah returned to Qatar in triumphant mood last weekend after clinching victory in the T2 category for Series Production Cross-Country Vehicles at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. Adel and Egyptian navigator Hakam Mohamed Rabeia delivered a superb performance in their Nissan Patrol to finish 13th overall, the success belying the Qatari’s lack of experience in rallying as a car driver – he normally races quads or works as a navigator in special stage rallies.

“Last weekend was superb for us and now it’s time to repeat that win with the Nissan on home ground,” said Adel Hussein, who also has the early lead in the FIA T2 championship standings after two rounds.

Running with support from Nissan Middle East and Al-Masaood Automobiles, Abu Dhabi-based Lebanese Emil Khneisser will be hoping for better luck on this occasion with Russian navigator Alexei Kuzmich. Khneisser was running inside the top three at the start of the event in Abu Dhabi last week, but a niggling engine sensor issue cost him valuable time and crucial championship points. Khneisser finished second in last year’s T2 Championship and knows that a podium finish is needed in Qatar next week.

The T2 category is well supported in Qatar. Among those quite capable of springing a surprise are the Saudi Arabian trio of Ahmed Al-Shegawi, Rajeh Al-Shammeri and Tariq Al-Rammah, Qatar’s Mohammed Al-Rashid and Kuwait’s Salem Al-Dhafiri. Germany’s Edith Weiss teams up with the experienced American navigator Ron Gainley to round off the Nissan T2 entrants.

Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Al-Feraihi earned a superb 10th overall at last weekend’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in his T1 Nissan Patrol with Omani navigator Abdulhaleem Al-Busaidi. He is quite capable of pushing for the top 10 in Qatar as well, although the difficulty of the navigation will put far more pressure on his co-driver on this occasion.

Other T1 Nissan entrants include Sheikh Hamed bid Eid Al-Thani, the 1993 FIA Middle East rally champion, former Ha’il Rally winner Ibrahim Al-Muhanna and three all-female prize drive pairings entered in a joint venture between the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) and FIA Women in Motorsport.

The French duo of Charlotte Berton and Antonia de Roissard crew the first of three Nissan Patrols. Kiwi Emma Gilmour teams up with Lisette Bakker in the second car and Spain’s Cristina Gutierrez lines up with South Africa’s Sandra Labuscagne in the third Nissan.

The event gets underway from the Losail international circuit on Monday morning (April 18), although all the crews will attend documentation and scrutineering checks at Losail on Saturday and Sunday.

2016 Sealine Cross-Country Rally – Nissan entries
208. Khalid Al-Feraihi (SAU)/Abdulhaleem Al-Busaidi (OMN) Nissan Patrol
212. Ibrahim Al-Muhanna (SAU)/Osama Al-Sanad (SAU) Nissan Patrol
214. Hamed Al-Thani (QAT)/TBA Nissan Patrol
217. Adel Hussein Abdullah (QAT)/Hakam Mohamed Rabeia (EGY) Nissan Patrol (T2)
219. Emil Khneisser (LEB)/Alexei Kuzmich (RUS) Nissan Patrol (T2)
221. Ahmed Al-Shegawi (SAU)/Arif Yousef Mohammed (ARE) Nissan Patrol (T2)
223. Mohammed Al-Rashid (QAT)/TBA Nissan Patrol (T2)
231. Ahmed Al-Shegawi (SAU)/Waleed Al-Fouam (SAU) Nissan Patrol
239. Tariq Al-Rammah (SAU)/Turki Al-Rammah (SAU) Nissan Patrol (T2)
240. Rajeh Al-Shammeri (SAU)/TBA Nissan Patrol (T2)
242. Salem Al-Dhafiri (KWT)/Fares Al-Thafiri (KWT) Nissan Patrol (T2)
243. Edith Weiss (DEU)/Ron Gainley (USA) Nissan Patrol (T2)
244. Charlotte Berton (FRA)/Antonia de Roissard (FRA) Nissan Patrol
245. Emma Gilmour (NZL)/Lisette Bakker (AHO) Nissan Patrol
246. Cristina Gutierrez (ESP)/Sandra Labuscagne (RSA) Nissan Patrol

Ends

 

 

 

Date issued: 13/04/2016

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