By Sports Reporter/Veszprem, Hungary
Qatar’s Adel Abdulla began his challenge for honours at the Hungarian Baja, the eighth round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies, with the second fastest time in the T2 category on the opening super special stage yesterday afternoon.
The Nissan Patrol Y62 driver and his French co-driver Jean-Michel Polato carded a time of 9min 38.8sec for the 11.4km special that will determine the starting order for the leading teams for the first of two demanding selective sections today.
The QX Rally Team driver returned to the overnight halt in Veszprém trailing his Saudi rival Ahmed al-Shegawi by 18.6 seconds in the class for series production cross-country vehicles. Romania’s Claudiu Barbu was a distant third overall in T2 in his Nissan Navara.
Poland’s FIA World Cup leader Jakub Przygonski won the stage outright by 4.9 seconds from Czech driver Martin Prokop. Crews had earlier crossed the start podium in ?v?ros Square in the baroque town. Adel’s challenge for T2 honours this season is being supported by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), Ooredoo Qatar and Nissan Qatar. Competitors face two runs through a challenging selective section of 219.50km on Saturday before the ceremonial finish in Veszprém later in the evening.
1. Ahmed al-Shegawi (KSA)/Laurent Lichtleuchter (FRA) Toyota Land Cruiser 9min 20.2sec
2. Adel Abdulla (QAT)/Jean-Michel Polato (FRA) Nissan Patrol Y62 9min 38.8sec
3. Claudiu Barbu (ROM)/Paul Spiridon (ROM) Nissan Navara 11min 01.03sec
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