WRC »

Al Qassimi: This is going to be fantastic.

BP Ford's 'third' driver Khalid Al Qassimi has said that he can't wait for the new season to start.

Al Qassimi, who did four WRC events last year following Abu Dhabi's deal with the 'Blue Oval', is down to do ten of the 15 rounds this season, beginning with the Rallye Monte Carlo in two weeks time.

The 2004 Middle East Rally champion, who lost out on taking his second MERC crown on the tie-break in '07, is eager to build on the experience he gained in Finland, Germany, Spain and Ireland and while he knows Monte Carlo and Sweden will be very tough, he is optimistic he could spring a surprise in Jordan and on some of the other gravel events, such as Sardinia and Greece.

"I can't wait to start my first full WRC season in the new Abu Dhabi–branded car," he noted. "It looks fantastic. There are a lot of tarmac events on the calendar this year, and starting the season with Monte Carlo and then Sweden – both with plenty of snow and ice expected – is obviously a little different to what I'm used to in Abu Dhabi and the MERC!

"I'm especially looking forward to Jordan though – which I won in the MERC last year – as I'll be able to test myself against the world's best drivers on familiar terrain. Then we move to Sardinia and Greece, where better weather will hopefully help me maintain high speeds.

"It's going to be a fantastic season and I have to again express my gratitude to Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and in particular, His Highness Sheikh Sultan, for giving me this unbelievable opportunity."

Al Qassimi meanwhile will link up with a new co-driver this season too, with Michael Orr, who called the pace-notes for Matthew Wilson in 2006 and 2007, replacing Nicky Beech. Khalid is eager to capitalise on Orr's knowledge.

"With Michael - a hugely experienced navigator - in the cockpit with me, I'm really optimistic about the season ahead. His knowledge will be really vital in helping me approach the new rallies and surfaces with the confidence to go all out," he summed-up.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Khalid Al Qassimi (UAE) / Nicky Beech (GBR), BP Ford Focus RS WRC06. Rally Finland, 2nd-5th August 2007.
Khalid Al Qassimi (UAE) / Nicky Beech (GBR), BP Ford Focus RS WRC06. Rally Ireland. 15-18th November 2007.
Khalid Al Qassimi (UAE) / Nicky Beech (GBR), BP Ford Focus RS WRC06. Rally Catalunya Costa Daurada, Spain. 5-7th Oct 2007.
21.05.2017 - 1st place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team, 2nd place Thierry Neuville (BEL)-Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport and 3rd place Dani Sordo (ESP)-Marc Marti (ESP),Hyundai i2 Coupe WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - HIROKI ARAI (JPN) - GLENN MACNEALL (AUS) FORD FIESTA R5, TOMMI MÄKINEN RACING
21.05.2017 - TEEMU SUNINEN (FIN) - MIKKO MARKKULA (FIN) FORD FIESTA R5, M-SPORT WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - Martin Prokop (CZE) - Jan Tomanek (CZE) Ford Fiesta RS WRC, ONEBET JIPOCAR WORLD RALLY TEAM
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - SHEIK KHALID AL QASSIMI (ARE) - CHRIS PATTERSON (GBR) CITROEN C3 WRC, CITROËN TOTAL ABU DHABI WRT
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
21.05.2017 - Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)-Gabin Moreau (FRA) Citroen DS3, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT
21.05.2017 - Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)-Gabin Moreau (FRA) Citroen DS3, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT
21.05.2017 - Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)-Gabin Moreau (FRA) Citroen DS3, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT
21.05.2017 - Stéphane Lefebvre (FRA)-Gabin Moreau (FRA) Citroen DS3, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT
21.05.2017 - Craig Breen (IRL)-Scott Martin (GBR) Citroen C3 WRC, Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.