CC Essa Al-Dossari forced out of Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE – March 23-28, 2018
For immediate release
Wednesday, March 28th, 2018
ED RACING’S ESSA AL-DOSSARI FORCED OUT OF ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE
QASR AL SARAB (UAE): ED Racing’s Essa Al-Dossari was not able to continue his quest for podium glory in the six-day Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge after crashing his South African-built Nissan Navara on the second desert stage through the Liwa Desert.
What had initially looked like an innocuous low-speed crash for the Saudi Arabian driver spelt the end of his and Emirati navigator Ali Hassan Obaid’s challenge. The car had to he thoroughly checked over by the FIA Technical Scrutineer Lionel Carre to ensure that the vehicle’s safety had not been compromised in the incident.
But it came to light that there was some damage to the vehicle’s integral roll cage and Al-Dossari was not permitted to start the next loop stage of 281.27km through the Rub Al-Khali.
Al-Dossari said: “The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is a very tough rally. This year there were plenty of good quality cars prepared well in the T1 category and several prepared by works teams. The competition was very high with experienced drivers. I had a strategy at the beginning to take things easy. I was 14th and, when I had the accident, I had moved up to eighth.
“What happened with me, I think it could be a fault in the design of the car, the front side of the car. The car was built for South African terrain and not built for the desert stages in the Middle East with a lot of sand and dunes. I believe it is normal to have these issues with a new car like mine.
“The car rolled in a way that is not a fault of mine. There were bumps and jumps in the terrain. The roll cage was damaged, even though it was a small accident. But that was enough to damage it. Safety-wise, I was not allowed to continue. I had to retire from the rally.
“! was hoping to bounce back strongly in Qatar but, after this, I cannot because the car needs a lot of work, especially with the roll cage. My next target is to take part in the Aseer Rally in Saudi Arabia.”
The Saudi off-road event will take place on June 25-29.