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CC Nissan Middle East-backed Khneisser begins FIA World Cup programme in Abu Dhabi

MEDIA INFORMATION

FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, round 2
Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, April 2-7

For immediate release
Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

NISSAN MIDDLE EAST-BACKED KHNEISSER BEGINS FIA WORLD CUP PROGRAMME AT HOME IN ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE

· Lebanese driver looking for FIA T2 glory with Nissan Patrol Y62 in 2016

ABU DHABI (UAE): Abu Dhabi-based Lebanese driver Emil Khneisser gets his FIA World Cup programme underway with support from Nissan Middle East and Al-Masaood Automobiles at next week’s punishing six-day Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.

The traditional second round of the FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup is one of the most demanding in the world motor sporting calendar and what better way for Khneisser to put his Nissan Patrol Y62 through its paces than against the world’s finest drivers.

Last year, Khneisser and Russian co-driver Alexei Kuzmich finished second in the FIA World Cup’s T2 category for Series Production Cross-Country Vehicles, behind the Kazakh driver Denis Berezovskiy, but Khneisser has unfinished business and is hoping for a good start to his championship challenge in the remote deserts of the United Arab Emirates next week.

“Hero of all terrain is a well deserved name for our Nissan Patrol, especially after the Bajas in Europe last year, where we proved that our team was competitive against the European champions and their vehicles,” said Khneisser.

“I am more confident than ever for the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. It is my home race and the place where Nissan developed the Y62 and where I have fine-tuned it over two successful years of racing.”

Khneisser got in some useful pre-FIA World Cup testing at the recent Ha’il Nissan International Rally in Saudi Arabia. He was holding an excellent fifth overall before a late transmission issue thwarted a final push for the podium.

At the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, which is sponsored by Nissan and organised by the Automobile and Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates, Khneisser faces some of the world’s finest cross-country drivers who have made a name for themselves in both the Dakar Rally and the FIA World Rally Championship.

The competition kicks off with a short super special stage at Yas Marina on Saturday, April 2nd, but the real meat of the off-road action takes place in Abu Dhabi’s Empty Quarter over the subsequent five days and five gruelling desert stages – punishing heat, soft sand and tricky navigation adding to the perils for the competitors.

The event finishes at Yas Marina on Thursday, April 7th.

FIA T2 Cross-Country Rally World Cup – positions after round 1:
1. Aleksandr Terentyev (RUS) 25 pts
2. Pietro Fogliani (ITA) 18 pts

Ends

Date issued: 29/03/2016

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