Rally champion Sheikh Khalid Al Qasimi won the first Baja Abu Dhabi Rally, which ended yesterday, while South African cyclist Aaron Mir won the MotoGP category.
Al Qasimi finished the rally six minutes ahead of his closest rival Saleh Al Saif in a two-seater Bagi MX3 and accompanied Al Qasimi in the seat of British navigator Chris Patterson on the Abu Dhabi Rally Team Peugeot 2008 Dakar.
Andreas Burgman was third, Dutchman Kees Cullen was fourth, both on the Buggy Can M, UAE's Khalid Al Jaflah came in fifth on the Donbael Armada, and Mohammed Al Nassani, winner of the T2 title on the Nissan Patrol, came in third. Sixth, S Ahmed Barakat won the title of Nissan Patrol.
Al-Qasimi said in a press statement: «The first stage was difficult because of my start in the forefront, and the opening of the path for the crowds of drivers, but my feeling is better, and I could pressure more, I lost some time when I climbed behind a motorcycle in the dunes, and my car sutured in the sand I had to empty some of the tires, but I am happy to be back in Liwa, and I enjoyed it so much. ” Aaron Mir scored the fourth fastest time at the end of the last stage of the rally (stage of the terrifying hill), a distance of 105 km, to win by one minute and 44 seconds from the nearest rival Kuwaiti cyclist Mohammed Jaafar, KTM. Aaron led the Honda team's bike to prepare for the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia next year. UAE cyclist Mohammed Al Balooshi scored the fastest time in the second stage to finish third in the overall standings of the motorcycle category, followed by Dubai-based Dave McBride, fourth in KTM, Emirati Sultan Al Balooshi in Kawasaki fifth and Kuwaiti Abdullah Al Shatti in KTM sixth. Aaron was among the riders who had trouble navigating at the refueling station. “It took me two minutes,” said Aaron, one of the rising stars of the international desert rally. “In particular, the path is similar to the one we are going through in the second week of the Dakar Rally.”
“It was an amazing adventure through a stunning terrain that the organizers have chosen with great care,” said Mohammed Al Balushi, a UAE-based cyclist. “It is truly the best path I have seen in my 21-year career in rallying.”
280 km clocked
The Abu Dhabi Rally was held under the patronage of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and reached a total distance of 280 km, and represents the fifth round of six rounds at the Emirates Baha Rally Championship 2019, organized by the Emirates Motor Sports Club, and participated in the rally 44 drivers and riders, which started last Friday morning, from the headquarters Rally in the famous terrifying hill next to the oases of Liwa.