Yazeed Al-Rajhi claims early lead in 15th Ha'il Nissan Rally

Yazeed Al-Rajhi claims early lead in 15th Ha'il Nissan Rally

05.02.2020: Sultan Al-Balooshi tops the motorcycles; Sufyan Al-Omar leads the quads 2020 Saudi Desert Rally Championship Ha'il Nissan Rally Wednesday, Feburary 5th 2020

 
•    Sultan Al-Balooshi tops the motorcycles; Sufyan Al-Omar leads the quads
 

2020 Saudi Desert Rally Championship
Ha'il Nissan Rally
Wednesday, Feburary 5th 2020





Local favourite Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Ulster co-driver Michael Orr stormed into an 8min 50sec lead after the opening 227km selective section of the 15th Ha’il Nissan Rally, round one of the 2020 Saudi Desert Rally Championship, on Wednesday afternoon.
 


The Toyota Hilux Overdrive crew carded a time of 2hr 21min 59sec for the stage that started and finished near Baqaa to seal a comfortable six-minute overnight lead over the Saudi Hummer driver Saleh Alabdelali and his experienced former WRC navigator Ole Floene.
 


“Everything is well,” said Al-Rajhi. “We lead but we were taking it easy. The most important thing is to finish without any mistakes and to take the double points at the start of the championship. Michael is doing a good job. Everything was perfect.”
 


Saleh Alabdelali added: “The stages are very nice I had a good speed for 50km and then we had some big dunes.After then I had some speed and then I was cautious. Ole is with me in this car for the first time and he is happy. We had a big jump and he likes the car. It is a good start for the Yazeed Racing Team with first and second. Tomorrow I can push.”
 


The veteran Czech driver Miroslav Zapletal and his Slovakian navigator Marek Sykora came home in third place and Ahmed Al-Shammeri and Ziad Al-Harbi were a distant fourth in their Nissan and topped the T2 standings for series production cross-country vehicles.
 


Fifty cars, one truck, 18 motorcycles and 30 quads actually started the four-stage event being organised by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF).
 


The Al-Balooshi brothers of Sultan and Mohammed dominated the opening stage in the motorcycle category on their KTMs, Sultan finishing the special 2min 59sec in front of his Emirati relation. Anas Al-Ruhayani led the Saudi challenge in third place.
 


Mohammed Al-Balooshi said: “Today was a good stage for me. I opened. It is good to do these kind of races to prepare for the bigger events, like Dakar 2021. I opened the whole stage until the finish and I am proud of that. Sitting second now behind my brother. But I am happy with the one-two for us.”
 


Yamahas dominated the quad section and Sufyan Al-Omar set the fastest time from Riyadh Al-Oraifan, Abdulsalem Al-Hamam and Abdulaziz Al-Shayban.


 
The rally is running under the chairmanship of H.R.H. Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal and the supervision of the Ha’il Regional Development Authority in co-operation with the General Authority for Tourism and National Heritage and the General Authority for Sport.
 


The event runs under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Saud Al-Saud, Governor of Ha’il, and His Royal Highness Faisal Bin Fahed Bin Moqren Al-Saud.
 


The second of the four desert selective sections starts at 08.00hrs on Thursday.




- Neil Perkins also photos

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/yazeed-al-rajhi-early-lead-hail-nissan-rally---203416.html

05.02.2020 / MaP

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