VESZPRÉM (HUNGARY): Qatar’s Adel Abdulla heads to the crucial eighth round of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Rallies in Hungary this weekend and the Doha-based driver knows that claiming maximum points in the T2 category for his title challenge is crucial.
The Nissan Patrol Y62 driver teams up with his French co-driver Jean-Michel Polato for the third time this year and arrives in the historic town of Veszprém trailing T2 series leader Ahmed Al-Shegawi by 20 points in the race to win the T2 title for series production cross-country vehicles.
The QX Rally Team driver has endured bad luck when leading several of the races this season, none more so that when a cruel mechanical issue robbed him of a massive lead within sight of the finish of the Qatar Cross-Country Rally in April.
Both Adel Abdulla and Al-Shegawi have been the class of the T2 field this season but the Arab duo face additional competition this weekend from the likes of Poland’s Tomasz Piec and Romania’s Claudiu Barbu.
Adel said: “I am prepared for this race now. I hope everything goes well. Each race this season from the beginning we have had problems and we lost the lead in the championship. We seemed to get the lead in the rallies and then something happened and we lost the first position. This is racing. We need to accept all the situations. All the races now are very important to the end of the season. I need the maximum points to try to catch Al-Shegawi and get the championship.
“We will do our best. I know this race. There is always a lot of mud and it is very slippery. I think it will be similar to previous years. We are focusing with the new team to win this race.”
Adel’s challenge for T2 honours this season is being supported by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), Ooredoo Qatar and Nissan Qatar.
The event is based at the baroque-style town of Veszprém, located 17km from the famous Lake Balaton and in close proximity to the Bakony forest.
After technical checks and scrutineering at the nearby BudaWest airport, teams will head to the ceremonial start in Óváros Square in Veszprém and then tackle a super special stage of 11.40km on Friday evening (August 10).
Competitors will then tackle two runs through a challenging selective section of 219.50km on Saturday before the ceremonial finish in Veszprém on Saturday evening.
FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies – T2 standings after round 7:
1. Ahmed Al-Shegawi (SAU) 165pts
2. Adel Abdulla (QAT) 135pts
3. Yuliya Khegay-Migunova (RUS) 42pts
4. Marat Abykayev (KAZ) 36pts
5. Alexey Titov (RUS) 25pts
6. Anders Svensson (SWE) 15pts