CC Nissan Middle East-backed drivers close in on 1-2 finish to T2 series
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, round 9
Oilibya Rally of Morocco 2015, October 5-9
For immediate release
Thursday, October 1st, 2015
NISSAN MIDDLE EAST-BACKED DRIVERS CLOSE
IN ON 1-2 FINISH TO FIA T2 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
· Denis Berezovskiy and Emil Khneisser face crucial five-day Moroccan challenge
ZAGORA (Morocco): Abu Dhabi-based Lebanese driver Emil Khneisser and Kazakh driver Denis Berezovskiy are in North Africa making their final preparations for next week’s gruelling Oilibya Rally of Morocco, the penultimate round of the 2015 FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies. The event starts in Zagora on Monday, October 5th and finishes in Agadir on Friday, October 9th.
Running with support for their Nissan Patrols from Nissan Middle East, the rival duo have dominated this season’s FIA T2 World Championship. They are closing in on a superb 1-2 finish to the daunting 10-round series that started in the icy Russian wastelands in February and has so far taken teams through the punishing deserts of the UAE, Qatar and Egypt and remote tracks and passages in Italy, Spain, Poland and Hungary.
Berezovskiy currently tops the championship standings with 189 points and knows that victory across the Moroccan deserts would enable him to clinch the world title prior to the final round in Portugal.
But Khneisser has also enjoyed a superb season with his strong and reliable Nissan Patrol Y62 and is ready to pounce if his rival makes a mistake over the sand dunes, wadis and rocky terrain that makes the Zagora-based Moroccan event such a challenge and so popular with the best drivers in the world.
“It has been a great season so far,” enthused Khneisser. “We have proved that the Nissan Y62 and my team can be fast and competitive, not only in the Middle East, but in Europe as well. Last year, I finished third in the T2 Championship, but I only took part in the Middle East rallies. This year, I’m aiming to maintain my second position and will be more ready to fight for the title next year.
“I missed the Russian Baja this year and had a breakdown on another rally that put me away from Denis and the first position. But I thank Nissan Middle East for their support and allowing me to pursue my dream and to be the first to compete in the unbeatable Nissan Y62.”
Berezovskiy is relishing the Moroccan challenge: “Emil has pushed me all the way this season and it is fitting that the championship goes down to the last two rounds and is being fought out between two drivers in Nissan Patrols. The cars have been strong and reliable on every round this season and that is a testament to the build quality and the preparations undertaken by our team with the invaluable support and enthusiasm of Nissan Middle East.”
After scrutineering checks and administration in Zagora on October 3 and 4, the Oilibya Rally of Morocco will be contested over five selective sections, starting with a 330km loop around the Zagora bivouac and through a sea of demanding sand dunes on Monday, October 5.
A slightly shorter second section of 244km winds its way through the Draa wadis and valleys on October 6 and a third selective of 274km offers varied terrain around M’hamid on October 7.
The fourth stage sets out from Zagora in the south of the country on October 8 and reaches Agadir via a long liaison and a special stage of 293km. The final section on October 9 loops around Agadir, before the rally finishes in the historic Moroccan city.
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies T2 – positions after round 8:
1. Denis Berezovskiy (KAZ) 189 pts
2. Emil Khneisser (ARE) 117 pts
3. Maxim Kurpilev (RUS) 117 pts
4. Hamed bin Eid Al-Thani (QAT) 108 pts
5. Mansour Al-Helai (ARE) 50 pts
5. Elvis Borsoi (ITA) 50 pts, etc