CC Nissan Middle East's Berezovskiy clinches FIA T2 World Championship
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, round 9
Oilibya Rally of Morocco 2015, October 5-9
For immediate release
Friday, October 9th, 2015
NISSAN MIDDLE EAST-BACKED BEREZOVSKIY CLINCHES
FIA T2 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE IN MOROCCO
· Nissan’s Patrol Y62; the ‘king of all terrains’ after Moroccan triumph
· Emil Khneisser confirms second in second Nissan Middle East-backed Patrol Y62
AGADIR (Morocco): Nissan Middle East has cause to celebrate after Kazakhstan rally driver Denis Berezovskiy clinched the prestigious FIA T2 World Championship title at the gruelling five-day OiLibya Rally of Morocco, which finished in Agadir on Friday.
The Kazakh and his navigator Ignat Falkov finished the demanding ninth round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies after a series of minor problems during the early part of the rally and that was sufficient to claim the world title with one round still to run. Berezovskiy had started the event in Zagora on Monday with a 72-point lead in the championship and knew that a finish would be sufficient to claim the T2 crown.
After missing a couple of stages to iron out a minor technical problem, Berezovskiy bounced back in his powerful Nissan Middle East-backed Patrol Y62 to claim the title with a storming run through the final 314km loop stage around Agadir. He was duly classified in fifth overall after time penalties had been added.
“This was not the best of rallies for me and not the result I wanted in Morocco, but I am delighted to win the T2 World Championship here with my Nissan Patrol,” said Berezovskiy. “It was a long and difficult rally and we had our fair share of issues, but it came good in the end and I am proud to say that Nissan, Ignat and I are the FIA T2 world champions.”
There was a double cause for celebration for Nissan Middle East: Abu Dhabi-based Lebanese driver Emil Khneisser and Russian navigator Alexey Kuzmich reached the finish in second position in the T2 category. They also overcame their fair share of niggling little problems and time delays and put in a solid last stage and recorded the third fastest time to ensure they gave Nissan a 1-2 finish to the T2 World Championship.
“I always educate my kids never go give up,” said Khneisser. “Well, in Morocco, I had no choice but to apply the lesson and lead b y example. I had a lack of power, but that his not prevent the legendary Nissan Patrol from forcing its way through into a podium finish. For four days we kept our hopes high and worked hard in the dunes and across some really tough terrain to achieve our target of the podium. It also enabled me to confirm second place in the T2 championship standings.”
Japanese driver Akira Muira won the final stage to confirm the T2 victory in Morocco.
Khneisser now heads to Portugal at the end of this month to tackle Baja Portalegre, the final round of the FIA World Cup. He has already confirmed second position in the FIA T2 World Championship and given Nissan Middle East and the Nissan Patrol Y62 a superb 1-2 finish in the world’s most demanding off-road rally championship.
OiLibya Rally of Morocco – T2 final positions:
1. Akira Muira (JPN)/Laurent Lichtleuchter (FRA) Toyota Land Cruiser 20hr 47min 15sec
2. Emil Khneisser (LEB)/Alexei Kuzmich (RUS) Nissan Patrol Y62 26hr 50min 28sec
3. Imre Somfai (HUN)/Matyas Somfai (HUN) Toyota Land Cruiser 40hr 43min 29sec
4. Jaroslaw Kasberuk (POL)/Robert Szustkowski (POL) Ford Raptor 46hr 41min 57sec
5. Denis Berezovskiy (KAZ)/Ignat Falkov (KAZ) Nissan Patrol Y62 135hr 29min 01sec
6. Hamed bin Eid Al-Thani (QAT)/Fares Alloeh (SYR) Ford Raptor 188hr 37min 08sec
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies T2 – positions after round 9 (unofficial):
1. Denis Berezovskiy (KAZ) 209 pts
2. Emil Khneisser (ARE) 153 pts
3. Hamed bin Eid Al-Thani (QAT) 124 pts
4. Maxim Kurpilev (RUS) 117 pts
5. Jaroslaw Kasberuk (POL) 62 pts
6. Mansour Al-Helai (ARE) 50 pts
6. Elvis Borsoi (ITA) 50 pts
6. Akira Muira (JPN) 50 pts, etc