ABU DHABI DRIVERS PRODUCE UNRIVALLED START TO WRC SEASON
Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) backed BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team has got off to a flying 2010 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) start with an outstanding rally win. Throughout all 21 of Rally Sweden's
thrilling snow covered forested stages last weekend, the Abu Dhabi team provided consistent and resilient performances. Unfaltering teamwork and the steady nerves of team drivers, Mikko Hirvonen, Jari-Matti Latvala, and Sheikh Khaled Al Qassimi, created an exceptional first, third and 13th place retrospectively, signifying an exhilarating season is ahead.
"The season couldn't have started in a more positive way," commented Ahmed Hussein, Deputy Director General, ADTA. "This is going to be a big year for the BP Ford
Abu Dhabi team and if this rally is anything to go by, the team won't settle for second place in the Championship."
Emirati rally ace Al Qassimi delivered a promising performance on only his second exposure to a snow rally, gaining confidence considerably throughout the week and climbing 13 places from his 25th position on Friday. This progressive start to the season is an indication that the Abu Dhabi born rally driver is set to have his best season to date.
"I wanted to learn over the course of this rally, and I feel I have achieved this. I had little experience in these conditions, but as the rally progressed I have grown in confidence," commented Al Qassimi. "There were some surprises on the stages, some tight corners and good action, but I enjoyed it."
The next challenge on Al Qassimi's agenda will be a return to Jordan Rally, amid the sandy and hot conditions that are more familiar to the Emirati. The contrast between the freezing temperatures and ice covered stages of Sweden, with the rocky desert terrain of Jordan will be something Al Qassimi embraces as he competes closer to his Middle Eastern home and is sure to receive the full support of his many UAE based fans.
The BP Ford
Abu Dhabi World Rally Team will next compete at Rally Mexico, 4-7 March. Al Qassimi returns with the team to compete at Jordan Rally, 31 March -- 3 April, and will be accompanied by ADTA's grassroots development programme drivers, Team Abu Dhabi.