CC Qatar's Adel Hussein Abdulla leads T2 after day four in Abu Dhabi


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

For immediate release
Wednesday, April 6th, 2016


· Niggling sensor issue costs Nissan’s Khneisser on penultimate selective section
· Saudi Arabian driver Yasir Saeidan takes fastest T2 time on fourth stage

ABU DHABI (UAE): Qatar’s Adel Hussein Abdullah will take a T2 category lead of 13min 50sec into the final stage of the 2016 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, after finishing second to Saudi Arabia’s Yasir Saeidan on the fourth selective section through the Rub Al-Khali on Wednesday.

The Nissan Patrol driver and his Egyptian navigator Hakam Mohamed Rabeia produced a solid performance in punishing heat and tricky sandy conditions to record a valuable stage result and climbed to 16th overall.

Emil Khneisser, the Abu Dhabi-based Lebanese Nissan Patrol Y62 driver, and his Russian navigator Alexei Kuzmich began the day fourth in T2 and were running well before they followed an incorrect route and missed a series of waypoints to ensure that they reached the stage finish with a niggling sensor issue that was making their car run low on power.

Khneisser eventually completed the stage in an unofficial time of 5hr 57min 51sec and holds a distant third in T2 behind Saeidan. Khneisser is running with support from Nissan Middle East and Al-Masaood Automobiles.

The special ran entirely on sand for 257.87km and finished at Hameem. Khneisser’s sensor issue cost him valuable minutes. “Yesterday, like today, was the Desert Challenge. It was a tough day,” said Khneisser. “I was maybe a little over-excited trying to pass people yesterday. I jumped and landed into a deep ditch landed on the front end and got stuck for 45 minutes.”

“A bad day today. After 10km, I had no power. I did half the stage and the other half I cut through from PC2 to PC3, otherwise we would not have made it. It was a very tough area and we had no power at all. The problem is some silly sensor. Now we are just planning to finish the race.”

Adel Hussein Abdullah started the fourth stage with a T2 advantage of 30min 02sec and reached the finish in a time of 4hr 56min 49sec, but Saeidan had been in impressive form and won the stage in a time of 4hr 37min 55sec to reduce the Qatari’s outright advantage to 13min 50sec. Frenchman Joseph Rosso hit trouble and lost his third place.

Saudi Arabia’s Khalid Al-Feraihi and Omani navigator Abdulhaleem Al-Busaidi began the day in 15th overall in their T1 Nissan Patrol and produced another solid finish to climb to 13th. Emirati Matar Al-Mansoori began the day in 16th overall in another Nissan Patrol, although he has delayed in the dunes.

Teams complete the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with a fifth selective section of 234.01km on Thursday morning that precedes the ceremonial finish at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi in the afternoon.

2016 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge – FIA T2 positions after SS4 (unofficial @ 15.55hrs):
1. Adel Hussein Abdullah (QAT)/Hakam Mohamed Rabeia (EGY) Nissan Patrol 21hr 14min 22sec
2. Yasir Saeidan (SAU)/Sébastien Delaunay (FRA) Toyota Land Cruiser 21hr 28min 12sec
3. Emil Khneisser (LEB)/Alexsei Kuzmich (RUS) Nissan Patrol Y62 23hr 11min 00sec
4. Mohammed Al-Harqan (QAT)/Arif Yousef Mohammed (ARE) Nissan Patrol 24hr 58min 37sec


Date issued: 06/04/2016

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