Al-Attiyah ends year with Dubai victory

Nasser Al-Attiyah concludes Middle East Rally Championship campaign with his fifth win from six outings
Qatar World Rally Team man Nasser Al-Attiyah finished what was a near-perfect performance in this year's FIA Middle East Rally Championship on another high last weekend as he piloted his Ford Fiesta RRC to victory at the Dubai International Rally.

Tackling the desert stages around Dubai, Al-Attiyah and co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini claimed seven stage wins from a possible 12 on offer. The stages were amongst some of the most difficult in the championship, with extremely high speeds and treacherous rocks littering the route, but that failed to halt the Qatari who emerged victorious with a winning margin in excess of five minutes.

“I had a good strategy. I was careful because I didn't want to get any punctures – this is not an easy rally because it is very fast and there are a lot of rocks. But we managed the situation from start to finish, and I am very happy to have secured another victory here in Dubai,” said Al-Attiyah, who claimed the Middle Eastern title for an impressive ninth time in 2013. “It has been a fantastic season for us, so a big thank-you to Qatar, to Giovanni and to all of our sponsors and supporters.”

Meanwhile come the rally end, the Fiesta RRC claimed a clean-sweep of the podium with Misfer Al-Marri and Nicola Arena finishing second and Abdullah Al-Qassimi and Steve Lancaster third. There were also five Ford Fiestas in the top six. When coupled to the fact that the Fiesta RRC has won every event in this year's championship, M-Sport's dominance within the series is underlined.

M-Sport managing director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, added: “What a fantastic achievement for Nasser and the Fiesta RRC. Nasser has been very impressive this season – to win five out of the six rounds, and finish second on the only one he failed to win, is no mean feat, so a big congratulations to both him and Giovanni.

“It has also been a great season for the Fiesta RRC. We certainly didn't expect to win every single round as we did in South Africa with the [Ford Fiesta] S2000, and I am extremely proud of this fantastic achievement.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Nasser Al-Attiyah (QA) Giovanni Bernacchini (ITA), Ford Fiesta WRC
Nasser Al-Attiyah (QA) Giovanni Bernacchini (ITA), Ford Fiesta WRC
Nasser Al-Attiyah (QA) Giovanni Bernacchini (ITA), Ford Fiesta WRC
Nasser Al-Attiyah / Giovanni Bernacchini. Ford Fiesta RRC. Dubai International Rally [Pic credit: Marian Chytka]
Nasser Al-Attiyah [Pic credit: Marian Chytka]

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