CC Saudi's Faris Al-Mashna seals career-best victory in Ha'il Nissan International Rally
HA’IL NISSAN INTERNATIONAL RALLY – April 2-5, 2017
For immediate release
Wednesday, April 5th, 2017
NISSAN’S AL-MASHNA AND AL-TAIMI TAKE CAREER-BEST
RESULT WITH VICTORY IN HA’IL NISSAN INTERNATIONAL RALLY
· Muneef Al-Salmani snatches victory for Nissan in his T2 Patrol
· Japanese manufacturer fills historic top eight places in Saudi event
HA’IL (Saudi Arabia): The Nissan crew of Faris Al-Mashna and Saud Al-Taimi held on to take a career-best victory in the Ha’il Nissan International Rally after winning the third selective section of 302.08km on Wednesday afternoon.
The Saudi pairing began the day with a lead of 3min 40sec and turned that into a winning advantage of 8min 14sec after a superb performance in their Nissan Patrol. Completing a clean sweep of the podium places for the Japanese manufacturer were Mutair and Hani Matar Al-Shammeri in second position and Ahmed Abdullah Al-Suhail and Rashed Muslet Al-Shammeri in third overall.
“This is fantastic for me to win this rally in my home area and against such big drivers,” said Al-Mashna. “I never expected that I would be able to take the win, but the car was fantastic. The rally was not at all easy. It was very rough and I was ahead of my competitors in the technical sections. I hope this win will be good for the future.”
The victory was a first for a driver from Ha’il since Rajeh Farhan Al-Shammeri’s victory in 2007 and the third time a local driver was won the event – Farhan Ghaleb Al-Shammeri also won the candidate event in 2006. It was also the third ever victory for Nissan on the event after Yazeed Al-Rajhi’s success in 2009 and Ibrahim Al-Muhanna’s triumph three years ago.
Muneef Al-Salmani hung on to claim the winner’s spoils in the T2 category with navigator Ali Al-Sayari. The pair also finished an impressive fifth overall. Ibrahim Al-Muhanna was delayed on the final stage, but Nissans filled the top eight places in the unofficial general classification.
Only 18 of the original 30 starters in the car category began the final day. Samir Talab Al-Shammeri, Meshal Saud Al-Saeedi, Khalid Al-Rameli Al-Shammeri, Muteb Saud Al-Shammeri and Khalid Eid Nahar Al-Shammeri all failed to start the final day after their own technical issues.
Engine oil cooler woes accounted for firm favourite and five-time winner Yazeed Al-Rajhi on the opening desert stage, while former MERC and WRC driver Rashed Al-Ketbi saw his first ever cross-country outing in a Dodge Viper V8-engined BMW X6 cut short by transmission issues.
Ahmed Al-Nasser held off a challenge from Heshayan Ibrahim Al-Heshayan to win the motorcycle category on his Honda and Yamaha-mounted Abdulmajeed Al-Khulaifi beat Sultan Al-Masoud and Fahad Al-Madhi to quad honours.
The rally was held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Saud Bin Abdul Mohsen Bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Ha’il, President of the Supreme Commission for Ha’il Development and the Head of the Supreme Commission of the Ha’il Rally.
Ha'il Nissan International Rally – positions after SS3 (unofficial @ 14.35hrs):
1. Faris Al-Mashna (SAU)/Saud Al-Taimi (SAU) Nissan 11hr 08min 17sec
2. Mutair Al-Shammeri (SAU)/Hani Al-Shammeri (SAU) Nissan 11hr 16min 31sec
3. Ahmed Abdullah Al-Shehail (SAU)/Rasheed Mslet (SAU) Nissan 11hr 31min 29sec
4. Al-Mushana Al-Shammeri (SAU)/Khalid Al-Safouq (SAU) Nissan 11hr 57min 18sec
5. Muneef Al-Salmani (SAU)/Ali Al-Sayari (SAU) Nissan T2 12hr 13min 21sec
6. Khalid Al-Hamazani (SAU)/Raed Al-Assaf (SAU) Nissan Patrol T2 13hr 09min 17sec
7. Yayha Al-Helawi (SAU)/Fahad Saleim (SAU) Nissan T2 13hr 32min 17sec
8. Mohammed Al-Sayari (SAU)/Ziad Al-Harbi (SAU) Nissan T2 13hr 36min 30sec
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