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AL QASSIMI PLANS ALL-OUT ATTACK IN BID FOR THIRD DUBAI RALLY VICTORY

24 November, 2013

Emirati driver will not change tactics as he looks to give Abu Dhabi Racing big finish to Middle East series

Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi, with co-driver Scott Martin, will go flat out for victory in the Dubai International Rally.

Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi, with co-driver Scott Martin, will go flat out for victory in the Dubai International Rally.

Abu Dhabi, 24 November, 2013: Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi plans an all-out attack in the Dubai International Rally this weekend as he looks to give Abu Dhabi Racing a winning climax to the 2013 FIA Middle East Rally Championship.

The Emirati driver has suffered a trail of misfortune in his home event in recent years, but will not alter his tactics to go flat out for a win as he pursues a third victory in his home event.

“I haven’t had any luck at all in Dubai over the last few years, but I’m not going to change the way I approach this rally,” said Al Qassimi, who will be partnered by regular British co-driver Scott Martin in his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total DS3.

“I’ve always gone for the win in this rally and it will be no different this time. Of course I want to win the rally for a third time for myself, but I also want to win it for the UAE, and give Abu Dhabi Racing a great finish to our first season.”

Al Qassimi is aiming for a third win in the event alongside Scott Martin in his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total DS3 RRC.

Al Qassimi is aiming for a third win in the event alongside Scott Martin in his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total DS3 RRC.

Already assured of runner’s up spot in this year’s FIA regional series, Al Qassimi scored the first of his two successive victories in the Dubai International Rally in 2005, a year after becoming Middle East champion.

Three years ago he looked to be heading for a third win as he powered his way into an impressive lead on the first leg, only to have his charge halted by a blown engine.

After missing the 2011 Dubai Rally through injury, he had high hopes going into the event last year, but two early punctures on the first leg destroyed his chances of victory.

“When things like that happen you just have to accept it and move on,” he said. “Definitely I’d like to have some better luck in Dubai this time, but from the start I’ll be thinking only of winning, and to do that I’ll have to give it everything I’ve got.”

“It's always a very fast rally because of the nature of the desert terrain, and a lot of it is flat out.

There are usually some very technical sections as well and on those you have to use a bit of caution, but the majority of the rally is about sheer speed.”

This will be the first Dubai International Rally for Abu Dhabi Racing, which was launched shortly after last year’s event to help boost the emirate’s presence in international motor sport and create more opportunities for young Emirati drivers.

Four young Emiratis join Al Qassimi in Dubai this time, with Mohamed Al Mutawaa and Mohammed Al Sahlawi both contesting the two-wheel drive class in a pair of identical Abu Dhabi Citroën DS3 R3 2WDs, while Bader Al Jabri and Majed Al Shamsi go into action in Abu Dhabi Subaru N15s.