Qatar’s Adel Abdulla followed up his fastest time on the opening super special stage to extend his lead in the T2 category after the first selective section of the Baja Arag?n Teruel in the punishing heat of Spain yesterday.
Fresh from renewing his contract with Nissan Qatar to run a Nissan Patrol Y62 in the category for series production cross-country vehicles at the seventh round of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, the Doha-based driver drove at a measured pace to carve out an unofficial lead of 25min 45sec over the Swedish driver Anders Svensson.
The QX Rally Team driver is tackling his second event with French navigator Jean-Michel Polato and the duo worked well again, despite the dust and the baking heat to set the quickest time.
Adel said: “Today we did 215km and we pushed very hard from the start and we set a very good time. We stopped twice because the bonnet lock was loose. We saw none of our rivals. I knew we were doing well. Almost in the middle of the stage we had a flat tyre and we changed it and we continued pushing not so hard.
“The stage was very tough. There were a lot of stony places. It was much more difficult than last year and the year before. Fifty five km from the end we had a problem with the four-wheel drive sensor and the car went into rear-wheel drive. We managed to finish the stage.”
The opening Alfambra super special stage Friday evening was shortened to 12.81km. Adel Abdulla carded a time of 11min 20.1sec and that catapulted the Qatari into the T2 lead, the time enabling Adel to take a four-second lead over Saudi Arabian rival Ahmed al-Shegawi into the overnight halt.
Sweden’s Anders Svensson was a distant third, Domingo Roman was fourth and Tomasz Baronowski incurred time penalties of 40 minutes for failing to complete the stage.
The opening selective section yesterday morning was the longest of the event and ran for a slightly shorter 215.62km between Alfambra and Cella. Roman was not permitted to start and retired his Nissan Pathfinder, but Adel Abdulla was in good form and posted the target T2 time of 3hrs 35min 19sec.
Baronowski was the next T2 driver to cross the finish line in 3hrs 43min 40sec, although earlier road penalties pushed the Pole down to third place behind Svensson.
Adel’s challenge for T2 honours is being supported by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), Ooredoo Qatar and Nissan Qatar.
The action in Baja Arag?n Teruel concludes with a 127.45km section between Barrachina and Alfambra today morning.
T2 positions after SS2
1. Adel Abdulla (QAT)/Jean-Michel Polato (FRA) Nissan Patrol Y62 3hrs 46min 39sec
2. Anders Svensson (SWE)/Jo?o Carvalho (PRT) Isuzu D-Max 4hrs 12min 24sec
3. Tomasz Baronowski (POL)/Grezegorz Konczak (POL) Toyota Land Cruiser 4hrs 23min 40sec
Ahmed al-Shegawi (SAU)/Laurent Lichtleuchter (FRA) Toyota Land Cruiser AWAITED
Domingo Roman (ESP)Pedro Pecero (ESP) Nissan Pathfinder RETIRED
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