Khalid Al-Qassimi scooped his best ever finish in a World Rally Championship event last weekend in Greece, when he brought his BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT-run Focus RS WRC car home in sixth place.
Al Qassimi ran solidly throughout the three-days, posting twelfth top-ten stages times in total. He began the final leg in seventh and then gained a place when Citroen Junior driver Evgeny Novikov suffered mechanical problems and rapidly lost time.
The result, his fourth points' finish of the season, after a trio of eighth places in Ireland, Cyprus and Portugal doubles his total for the season and moves him up to eleventh in the 2009 drivers' classification.
“What an incredible rally. My feelings for the result are great,” he reflected. “It was a really good rally. The roads have been unbelievably tough and I can't remember so many drivers having problems.
“But we stuck at it, despite some close encounters and I am so pleased for myself, Michael [Orr – my co-driver], and the entire Abu Dhabi team.
“It is a great to be here. The boys at the service did a fantastic job, and that is how we made it to the end.
“This result is a huge boost to the whole Abu Dhabi rally programme, and I hope it will be an inspiration for the Abu Dhabi Junior Drivers in Poland.”
Al Qassimi's form meanwhile won immediate acclaim from the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) which is behind the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team initiative.
“Khaled is now clearly demonstrating how experience pays off. He has come a long way since the start of this campaign just 18 months ago to now feature in the top-ten of one of the most difficult rallies in motorsport,” added Ahmed Hussein, deputy director general, ADTA.
“He is blazing a trail for our junior drivers who can now follow his example of quiet, yet dogged determination.
“Equally Khaled is earning himself a significant following among the many World Rally Championship followers worldwide who, thanks to his prominent, yet understated, emergence onto the championship circuit have an expanding interest in Abu Dhabi and its sporting and cultural initiatives.”