Al Qassimi scores first-ever point

Khalid Al Qassimi has set his sights on scoring more points in the World Rally Championship after he broke his duck when he came home in eighth place in Ireland last weekend.

Al Qassimi, who takes in selected events in the WRC using a 'third' car entered under the BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT banner, got off to a bit of a rocky start on day 1 and although he was running tenth he had a lucky escape in SS4, when he slid off the road and hit a tree.

That dropped him down to 13th, but from then on he gradually hauled himself back up the leader-board, ending day two in eighth, a position he held all the way to the finish in Sligo.

In the end he posted ten top-ten stages times from a possible 17, including one sixth best effort.

"I've been pushing hard all week and to score my first point in such a difficult rally gives me a lot of confidence,” he noted.

“We're trying to put Abu Dhabi on the rally map and being the first United Arab Emirates driver to score a WRC point has always been one of the goals.

“I'm happy I've been able to keep progressing and justify the faith shown in me. Hopefully I'll win more points before the end of the season."

Asked about that incident on the Friday, when he went off in Glenboy 2, he conceded it was a bit of a close call.

"I entered a muddy corner and was trying to keep the car on the line but it slipped out and I lost control,” he explained.

“We were heading for some trees on my left but at the last second I pulled the handbrake and hit a tree side-on. I was doing about 50kph and if I'd hit the tree head-on at that speed the impact would have caused far more damage.”

For the record, Ireland was Al Qassimi's 21st outing in the WRC, his previous best result a ninth place, achieved in Jordan last year.

Related Pictures

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Khalid Al Qassimi (UAE) Michael Orr (GBR), Ford Focus RS WRC 07, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team

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