CC Nissan's Adel Hussein Abdulla faces race against time to stay on course for Baja Poland finish
Columna Medica Baja Poland 2016
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, round 7
August 26-28, 2016
For immediate release
Saturday, August 27th, 2016
NISSAN’S ADEL HUSSEIN ABDULLA FACES RACE AGAINST
TIME TO STAY ON COURSE FOR BAJA POLAND FINISH
· Poland’s Robert Kufel snatches early T2 lead in Baja Poland
SZCZECIN (POLAND): Nissan’s Adel Hussein Abdulla faces a race against time to stay in contention for any FIA T2 Championship points after a suspension bracket broke on his Nissan Patrol on the second stage of Columna Medica Baja Poland, round seven of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, on Saturday morning.
The Qatari and French navigator Jean-Michel Polato were not able to complete the first of two passes through a demanding 176.33km selective section in a giant military area at Drawsko Pomorskie and stay in contention for points in the category for Series Production Cross-Country Vehicles.
They are running a Nissan Patrol with support from Nissan Middle East and the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) and found themselves down in eighth position after penalties were added to their time for not completing the stage. Adel Hussein Abdulla’s TOK Sport team hopes to repair the Nissan in time for the Qatari to make up lost ground over four shorter stages on Sunday.
Poland’s Robert Kufel, driving a Nissan Navara, held a lead of 1min 28sec over series leader Yasir Saeidan after the second stage on Saturday.
“We stopped completely in the stage,” said Adel Hussein. “20km after the start of the stage, I thought there was a problem with the rear bumper. My rhythm was very good and I caught four cars and was heading for a very good position. But then, at kilometre 115, I started to hear something from the rear of the car and I thought it was the bumper. Because of the nature of the stages, it is very narrow and twisty. But the suspension cylinder bracket broke and all the oil went out between the suspension arm and the wheel. I was forced to stop after 135km.
“I had taken things easy in the opening stage on Friday evening. This is a long event, maybe the toughest of the Bajas. But we will see if we can challenge hard on Sunday to make up some of the time.”
Adel faced one of the most impressive fields of T2 drivers this season, with several talented Polish pilots joining the battle for honours and threatening to take valuable championship points off the series regulars.
The competitive action got underway with a muddy and rutted super special stage of 7.08km at the militarised area, near Szczecin, on Friday evening. Saiedan headed Kufel by 1.4 seconds to take the T2 lead and Adel Hussein settled into sixth place, a mere 20.6 seconds behind the leader.
Teams tackled two runs of 176.33km through a demanding selective section in the military area around Drawsko Pomorskie on Saturday. Kufel was the quickest of the T2 runners through the opener and reached the midday break in Szczecin with a lead of 1min 28sec over Saeidan.
The event concludes on Sunday with Adel and his rivals tackling repeat runs through two shorter stages of 30.66km and 17.68km. The ceremonial finish is then set for 14.30hrs (local time) in the Szczecin Rally Park.
2016 Columna Medica Baja Poland – positions after SS2 (T2 class):
1. Robert Kufel (POL)/Daniel Dymurski (POL) Nissan Navara 2hr 25min 25sec
2. Yasir Saeidan (SAU)/Alexei Kuzmich (RUS) Toyota Land Cruiser 200 2hr 26min 53sec
3. Martin Sobiech (POL)/Inez Kieliba (POL) Mitsubishi Pajero 2hr 29min 07sec
4. Klaudia Podkalicka (POL)/Blazejj Czekan (POL) Mitsubishi Pajero 2hr 31min 07sec
5. Grzegorz Szwagrzyk (POL)/Jakub Moliter (POL) Mitsubishi Pajero 2hr 31min 35sec
6. Mohammed Al-Harqan (QAT)/Nasser Al-Kuwari (QAT) Toyota Land Cruiser 2hr 31min 38sec
7. Rebeka Jankowska (POL)/Grzegorz Jankowski (POL) Mitsubishi Pajero 2hr 45min 51sec
8. Adel Hussein Abdulla (QAT)/Jean-Michel Polato (FRA) Nissan Patrol 6hr 07min 40sec
9. Tomasz Piec (POL)/Bartlomiej Boba (POL) Nissan Navara 6hr 07min 43sec
10. Mariusz Wiatr (POL)/Artur Szczygel (POL) Mitsubishi Pajero 6hr 08min 16sec