CC Qatar's Adel Abdulla claims three stage wins and triumphs in Qatar Manateq Baja
Manateq Qatar Cross-Country Rally
February 21-26, 2019
For immediate release
Tuesday, February 26th, 2019
QATAR’S ADEL ABDULLA CLAIMS THREE STAGE WINS
AND TRIUMPHS IN QATAR MANATEQ BAJA
DOHA (QATAR): Former FIA T2 World Cup champion Adel Abdulla recovered superbly from an early disaster to claim three successive T3 stage wins and outright victory in the final round of the Qatar Manateq National Baja Championship, held in conjunction with the Manateq Qatar Cross-Country Rally that finished at Lusail on Tuesday.
After suffering the agony of retiring from the second leg, when water was poured into his fuel tank at the refuelling point instead of petrol, the Qatari and Spanish navigator Marc Serra bounced back strongly in their new Can-Am Maverick T3, being built by the FN Speed Team, a leading Spanish SxS preparations company.
Adel reached the finish of the five-day opening round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies in fifth place in the T3 section, despite the fuel issue, and 13th overall.
He said: “It was a tough stage today, fast and tricky. It was a challenge for us and I had a flat tyre in the last three kilometres of the National Rally section before PC2. I decided to continue. We pushed hard today.
“I have no explanation for the water in the fuel. I was leading by 26 or 27 minutes at that time. I don’t know how this happened. But it happened. It is a mystery to me..”
Adel was also eligible for the three Qatar Manateq Bajas that ran in conjunction with the first, third and fifth days of the FIA event. He followed up third overall on the opener, with fourth on the second one and victory in the third.
Adel had held 12th overall and third in T3 after the short opening stage of 109.76km that looped through the central deserts. A high starting position hindered him somewhat, however, and he lost several minutes in the dust of other cars and slowing to allow two of the T1s to pass.
The Qatari was in fine form through the opening kilometres of the longer second stage and had gained the virtual T3 stage lead by PC1. But those dreaded fuel-related issues came to bear soon afterwards and the Can-Am failed to restart after the refuelling stop.
After further delays on day three, Adel bounced back in the best possible way on day four and was rewarded with a pair of stage wins on the 227.99km and 121.41km sections that made up the day.
“The fourth stage was a tough one and we passed some stony paces with a lot of rocks and tricky navigation. We had one flat tyre, but it was okay for me. My co-driver was good and we won the special. The second was tough at the beginning and then we reached the dunes. The navigation was also a bit tricky to drive. There was a strong wind and it was difficult to see.
“Unfortunately we had the water mixed with the fuel at the refuelling on the second stage. We found 20 litres of water in the fuel and we were the first car to arrive. We don’t know from where. It was very strange.”
It was an exciting start to what Adel hopes will be a successful transition from T2 to T3 in 2019.
For further information: www.qatarcrosscountry.com