Qatar's Adel Abdulla has work cut out to claw back lost time in Rally of Morocco

Qatar's Adel Abdulla has work cut out to claw back lost time in Rally of Morocco

05.10.2018: Rally of Morocco October 4-9, 2018 Friday, October 5th, 2018 Qatar’s Adel Abdulla held third overall in the T2 category after the opening desert selective section of the 2018 Rally of Morocco on Friday.

Rally of Morocco
October 4-9, 2018
Friday, October 5th, 2018



Qatar’s Adel Abdulla held third overall in the T2 category after the opening desert selective section of the 2018 Rally of Morocco on Friday.

 


The Nissan Patrol Y62 driver and his French navigator Jean-Michel Polato are aiming to win the FIA T2 World Championship for series production cross-country vehicles for the second time in three seasons.
 


But a puncture on Thursday’s Prologue and a time loss on the first of the two desert sections of Friday’s route between Fes and Erfoud pushed the QX Rally Team crew down to third in the category behind series leader Ahmed Al-Shegawi and Russian rival Alexey Titov.
 


Moroccan action got underway with a 10km Prologue, near Fes, on Thursday afternoon to enable the overall top 10 to determine their starting positions for the first of the desert sections between Fes and Erfoud on Friday.
 


Al-Shegawi topped the T2 times with a run of 11min 02sec, Titov was second with a time of 11min 54sec and Adel Abdulla clocked the third quickest time of 15min 42sec.
 


Adel Abdulla said: “We were very fast in the first part and then in one corner it was very slippery and we under steered and hit the mountain and I had a flat tyre. I had to stop and change it because the stage was twisty and there were five kilometres to the finish.”
 


After a road liaison of 322km from Fes on Friday morning, action on the opening day in the desert took place over two timed sections of 103km and 91km before the rally caravan arrived in Erfoud – an oasis town situated in the Drâa-Tafilalet region of eastern Morocco.
 


Al-Shegawi held the advantage through the first waypoint on the opening stage, but Adel Abdulla and Titov were separated by just 10 seconds in the virtual standings. Al-Shegawi won the first stage by just one second from Titov, but Adel Abdulla dropped eight minutes to his main rivals and held third place heading to the shorter second section of the stage late on Friday afternoon.



Adel Abdulla’s challenge for honours comes with the support of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), Ooredoo Qatar and Nissan Qatar.
 



Action continues with a loop stage of around 329km through the Erfoud deserts on Tuesday.
 





2018 Rally of Morocco – T2 positions after SS1 – 103km (unofficial @ 15.52hrs):




1. Ahmed Al-Shegawi (SAU)/Alexei Kuzmich (RUS) Toyota Land Cruiser                   1hrs 52min 41sec


2. Alexey Titov (RUS)/Andrey Rusov (RUS) Ford F-150                                                      1hrs 53min 34sec


3. Adel Abdulla (QAT)/Jean-Michel Polato (FRA) Nissan Patrol Y62                             2hrs 04min 48sec
 





- Neil Perkins also photos

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05.10.2018 / MaP

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