CC Nissan celebrates superb T2 victory after title sponsorship of Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, round 2
Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, April 2-7
For immediate release
Friday, April 8th, 2016
NISSAN CELEBRATES SUPERB T2 VICTORY AFTER TITLE
SPONSORSHIP OF ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE
· Saudi’s Khalid Al-Feraihi finishes in a superb 10th overall in a Nissan Patrol
· Nissan Middle East’s Khneisser claims points for sixth in T2 category
ABU DHABI (UAE): Title sponsor Nissan enjoyed a triumphant Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, which finished at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi on Thursday afternoon.
The Japanese manufacturer had six Nissan Patrols at the finish of one of the world’s most demanding off-road rallies and Adel Hussein Abdullah topped the success with victory and the outright lead in the FIA T2 category for Series Production Cross-Country vehicles.
Partnered by Egyptian navigator Hakam Mohamed Rabeia, the Qatari guided his new Patrol to the podium in 13th overall and top of the T2 rankings, belying his lack of experience of the event and benefiting from the reliability of his near-standard Patrol in the punishing dunes of Abu Dhabi’s Empty Quarter.
Running with support from Nissan Middle East and Al-Masaood Automobiles, Abu Dhabi-based Lebanese driver Emil Khneisser was in contention for a top three T2 finish until a niggling sensor problem cost him valuable time and any chance to push for the podium. He and Russian navigator Alexei Kuzmich eventually reached the finish in 28th overall and sixth in T2 in their Nissan Patrol Y62.
“It was tough because we had a minor problem in the engine,” said Khneisser. “We discovered it was the sprocket of the valve timing. It was not working correctly and affecting the whole running the engine and putting us into safe mode. It was a shame, because this was my area and my country and I felt very comfortable in myself and with the Y62. It was an amazing opportunity.
“We missed it. We could not fix the problem, because we would have been forced to open the engine cylinder head and that would have taken us out of the classification of T2, so we preferred to finish the race. We still finished sixth and will collect points for the championship.”
Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Al-Feraihi and Omani navigator Abdulhaleem Al-Busaidi achieved a superb 10th place in their T1 Nissan Patrol and the Emirati duo of Matar Al-Mansoori and Saif Al-Ali finished 15th overall in a privately run T1 Nissan Patrol.
The British husband and wife crew of Ian and Sheila Barker rounded off the Nissan T1 finishers in 23rd overall and the Qatari driver Mohammed Al-Harqan teamed up with Emirati navigator Arif Yousef Mohammed to finish 26th overall and fifth in T2 in a Patrol.
2016 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – Nissan finishers
10th Khalid Al-Feraihi (SAU)/Abdulhaleem Al-Busaidi (OMN) Nissan
13th Adel Hussein Abdullah (QAT)/Hakam Mohamed Rabeia (EGY) Nissan Patrol (1st T2)
15th Matar Al-Mansoori (ARE)/Saif Al-Ali (ARE) Nissan Patrol
23rd Ian Barker (GBR)/Sheila Hutton Barker (GBR) Nissan Patrol
26th Mohammed Al-Harqan (QAT)/Arif Yousef Mohammed (ARE) Nissan Patrol (5th T2)
28th Emil Khneisser (LEB)/Alexei Kuzmich (RUS) Nissan Patrol (6th T2)