CC Nissan's Adel Abdulla begins defence of FIA T2 crown with third place in Dubai
DUBAI INTERNATIONAL BAJA
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, round 2
March 9-11, 2017
For immediate release
Saturday, March 11th, 2017
NISSAN’S ADEL ABDULLA BEGINS DEFENCE OF FIA T2 CROWN
WITH THIRD PLACE IN DUBAI INTERNATIONAL BAJA
· Early mechanical issue prevents Nissan Patrol driver from pushing for win
DUBAI (UAE): Nissan’s Adel Abdulla began the defence of his FIA T2 World Championship title by finishing third overall in his Nissan Patrol at the inaugural Dubai International Baja, round two of the prestigious championship for Series Production Cross-Country vehicles, in Dubai on Saturday.
The two-day Nissan-backed event was organised by the Automobile and Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates ran through the Al-Qudra Desert for the first time in conjunction with the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies.
Running with support from Nissan Middle East, Saleh Al-Hamad Al-Mana Co. and the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), Adel and his French navigator Sébastien Delaunay held third position after the opening two stages of 91.66km and 82.24km on Friday, after losing time with electrical differential locking issues.
With the minor fault rectified by his TOK Sport mechanics, the Qatari was able to press on over the third 174.2km stage on Saturday in a bid to catch and pass local driver Mansoor Al-Helai and fellow Nissan Patrol driver Emil Khneisser.
Adel began the day 7min 17sec behind the leading Emirati and his renowned special stage co-driver Chris Patterson and went on to the finish the stage in third place to consolidate his position. He was able to climb to an unofficial second place in the FIA T2 rankings after two rounds.
“I would like to thank Saleh Al-Hamad Al-Mana Co, Nissan Middle East and the QMMF for their ongoing support,” said Adel Hussein. “We had a technical problem on Friday and we could not use the four-wheel drive on the Patrol in the correct way. The problem began on the first stage and, when you have an issue like this at the start, it affects your ability to push.
“Before the second stage, we were aware how to tackle the problem and I regained my rhythm and finished the section in third place and second in the T2 points. Today’s stage was the same as the two from Friday combined. I needed to get into a good rhythm from the start and I needed to remember that both drivers ahead of me had also benefited from tackling the candidate event last December.”
Adel Abdulla’s attention now turns to a pair of back-to-back cross-country rallies in Abu Dhabi and Qatar in April.
2017 Dubai International Baja – T2 final positions (unofficial):
1. Mansoor Al-Helai (ARE)/Chris Patterson (GBR) Toyota Land Cruiser 5hr 12min 01sec
2. Emil Khneisser (LEB)/Manie Kruis (ARE) Nissan Patrol 5hr 15min 35sec
3. Adel Hussein Abdulla (QAT)/Sébastian Delaunay (FRA) Nissan Patrol 5hr 24min 29sec
4. Yasir Saeidan (SAU)/Laurent Lichtleuchter (FRA) Toyota Land Cruiser 5hr 28min 15sec
5. Ahmed Al-Malki (SAU)/Omar Allahim (SAU) Isuzu D-Max 6hr 06min 51sec
6. Matthew Telling (ARE)/Annie Seel (SWE) Nissan Patrol 8hr 05min 46sec
FIA T2 Cross-Country Rally World Cup – positions after round 2 (unofficial):
1. Yasir Saeidan (SAU) 37pts
2. Adel Hussein Abdulla (QAT) 27pts
3. Ahmed Al-Malki (SAU) 25pts
4. Mansoor Al-Helai (ARE) 25pts
5. Marat Abykayev (KAZ) 18pts
6. Emil Khneisser (LEB) 18pts, etc