Khalid Al Qassimi will return to the WRC for Rally Sweden this week, taking in his first of four events with the Citroen Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.
Al Qassimi is focusing on the Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) this season and has made that his main objective. However he is still looking forward to his occasional appearances in the WRC and while conditions in Sweden will be diametrically opposed to those of his native Abu Dhabi, he still likes the event. Indeed he has fond memories of his first appearance there back in 2008.
“I wasn't really happy with my times [initially]. I therefore decided to push myself to the limit and set myself the challenge of taking Colin's Crest flat out. And believe it or not, I won the prize for the longest jump that year!” he recalled.
His outing in Sweden this year will be his fifth in Karlstad and to date his best result there is a tenth place back in 2011.
Can he improve upon that in 2014? Only time will tell, and while it will be his first outing in the Citroen DS3 WRC since last October - and his first alongside new team-mates, Mads Ostberg and Kris Meeke - he is still upbeat and reckons the arrival of new co-driver, Chris Patterson will aid his cause.
“I haven't driven the Citroen DS3 WRC since last year's Rally de Espana,” he confirmed. “But I'm pleased to be able to call upon the experience of Chris Patterson this season. He will be a real asset in helping me to secure some good results in 2014.”