CC Nissan's Adel Hussein Abdulla suffers final stage setback in T2 battle in Italy
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, round 4
Italian Baja, June 24-26
For immediate release
Sunday, June 26th, 2016
NISSAN’S ADEL HUSSEIN ABDULLA SUFFERS FINAL STAGE SETBACK AFTER HOLDING SECOND IN T2 AT PUNISHING ITALIAN BAJA
· Qatari Nissan driver remains determined to win FIA T2 World Championship
PORDENONE (ITALY): Qatar’s Adel Hussein Abdulla suffered a setback in his push for a maiden FIA T2 World Championship title by slipping from second to fifth position on the final special stage of the Italian Baja, round four of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, in Pordenone on Sunday afternoon.
Running with support from Nissan Middle East and the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) for his powerful Nissan Patrol Y62, Adel Hussein produced a determined performance on one of Europe’s toughest Baja rallies to hold second in the T2 category behind Saudi Arabia’s Yasir Saeidan until he ground to a halt after a water splash on the final special stage and the time delay cost him three positions on the T2 leader board.
The Qatari’s Nissan had been the model of reliability over the three days of competition in northern Italy and aptly lived up to its reputation as the ‘King of all Terrains’.
Adel Hussein Abdulla said: “The stage was very muddy because of the rain and not much fun. I was pushing at the beginning, but it was like driving on ice in the middle of the stage. It was very slippery. One time, my engine cut in one corner and I had to switch off and start again and that cost me some time. But we put the marks in the road book after the first pass to let us know where the difficult sections were. I was thinking about the points.
“Second place would have given me 18 points and there are still five races to go, so the championship has a long way to go.”
Adel Hussein trailed Saeidan by 2min 14sec after the opening two stages on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning and then tackled a repeat of the 74.40km Arzena special, where he had lost so much time in the dust of other competitors in the morning. He dropped just 13 seconds to the Saudi on the second run through the stage and reached the overnight halt trailing by 2min 27sec.
Saeidan was the man to beat on the first of two runs through the 74.50km of the Rauscedo special between San Lorenzo and Ponte della Delizia on Sunday morning – a reverse run through the stage that was used on Saturday.
The Saudi extended his advantage over Adel Hussein Abdulla to 3min 06sec before incurring a one-minute time penalty that reduced the deficit to 2min 06sec. Mohammed Al-Harqan had retired and Jaroslaw Kazberuk was the nearest challenger to the Saudi and the Qatari with one stage to run.
Saeidan secured the victory with a final stage time of 1hr 00min 15sec and extended his series lead to an unofficial 27 points, but there was frustration for Adel Hussein Abdulla when he ground to a halt after the water splash and the time delay cost him three positions in the general T2 standings. Poland’s Lukasz Lechowicz was the main beneficiary and he finished second, well clear of fellow Pole Jaroslaw Kazberuk.
2016 Italian Baja – final positions (T2 class):
1. Yasir Seaidan (SAU)/Sébastien Delaunay (FRA) Toyota Land Cruiser 200 4hr 15min 16sec
2. Lukasz Lechowicz (POL)/Lukasz Solecki (POL) Nissan Navara D40 4hr 41min 50sec
3. Jaroslaw Kazberuk (POL)/Robert Szustkowski (POL) Ford Raptor 4hr 55min 53sec
4. Tomasz Piec (POL)/Gabriel Prochacki (POL) Nissan Navara D40 5hr 15min 38sec
5. Adel Hussein Abdulla (QAT)/Jean-Michel Polato (FRA) Nissan Patrol 5hr 17min 08sec