CC Nissan's Adel Hussein closes to within two points of T2 series lead after winning in Spain
Baja Spain Aragón
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, round 5
July 22-24, 2016
For immediate release
Sunday, July 24th, 2015
NISSAN’S ADEL HUSSEIN CLOSES TO WITHIN TWO POINTS OF
T2 SERIES LEAD AFTER SNATCHING VICTORY IN BAJA SPAIN
· QMMF-backed star seals memorable T2 win in Baja Spain Aragón
TERUEL (SPAIN): Qatar’s Adel Hussein Abdulla stormed back into contention to win the FIA T2 World Championship for Drivers by winning the category at the Teruel-based Baja Spain Aragón, round five of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, on Sunday.
Running a Nissan Patrol with support from Nissan Middle East and the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), the Qatari began the final morning with an outright lead of 13min 51sec and benefited from excellent support from French co-driver Jean-Michel Polato to set a target time of 2hr 58min 01sec in the final Alfambra special stage.
That was sufficient for the Qatari to secure the win and the maximum points awarded in T2 and enabled him to close to within an unofficial two points of Saudi Arabia’s Yasir Saeidan at the top of the points’ standings.
“What a fantastic rally and mission accomplished for us,” enthused Adel Hussein. “The aim was to win the race and to shrink the gap to the leader in the championship. That’s what we managed to do. I finished first and the points’ difference is now just two.
“I had big confidence in my Nissan Patrol. We didn’t have a single problem. The result today will give me a major boost for the next events. I’m now looking forward to pressing on to try and win the T2 World Championship.”
After series leader Yasir Saiedan had succumbed to transmission problems on Saturday, Hussein came under pressure from a strong contingent of Spanish drivers with far more experience of the remote rural terrain used for the challenging route of Spain’s premier off-road rally. Spanish drivers, Josep Sole and César Sequiera, eventually finished second and third behind the Qatari.
Adel Hussein began the first of two runs through the 184km Alfambra stage on Saturday afternoon trailing Saeidan by 5min 02sec, but that was all to change in the demanding special, held in the punishing heat of a Spanish summer afternoon.
Saeidan’s car developed gearbox issues and the Saudi was forced to retire, as the regulations state that any T2 driver changing the gearbox during a Baja would automatically be placed in the T1 category for the remainder of the race.
Adel Hussein reached the stage finish a mere 11 seconds behind local Spanish driver Cesar Sequeira and stormed to the top of the T2 standings. By the end of the day, his lead in the FIA T2 category for Series Production Cross-Country vehicles had risen to 13min 51sec over Spain’s Josep Sole. Qatar’s Mohammed Al-Harqan joined Saeidan on the list of retirements.
José Enrique de Dios was also classified in the T2 category, but was not registered for the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies and was competing for points in both the Trophy Aragón and Spanish Championships.
The Alfambra special was repeated on Sunday morning and 184.80km stood between Adel Hussein and a famous T2 win on one of the most difficult Bajas in the world. He stayed clear of trouble to record a memorable T2 victory and closed in on the T2 series lead heading for two further Bajas in Europe next month.
2016 Baja Spain Aragón – positions after SS4 (T2 class):
1. Adel Hussein Abdulla (QAT)/Jean-Michel Polato (FRA) Nissan Patrol 8hr 37min 33sec
2. Josep Sole (ESP)/Laura Diaz (ESP) Mitsubishi Pajero 9hr 01min 39sec
3. César Sequiera (ESP)/Tania Sequiera (ESP) Isuzu D-Max 9hr 24min 08sec
DNF. Mohammed Al-Harqan (QAT)/Fares Allouh (JOR) Toyota Land Cruiser
DNF. Yasir Seaidan (SAU)/Alexei Kuzmich (RUS) Toyota Land Cruiser 200