Qatari racer Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah has completely dominated the 2021 Jordan Rally and has achieved a historic 14th victory at the event. His winning margin was 17 min 04.8 sec, according to AlKass Digital.
Nasser, who drove the Volkswagen Polo GTi driver, to his victory, and his Andorra-based co-driver Matthieu Baumel both won each of the 10 special stages in the Dead Sea and the Mount Nebo areas to extend their leads in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC).
Al Attiyah is on the lookout to break records and gain his 17th regional title this year, as he secured a 78th career MERC event win and Baumel sealed a personal win number 27.
“This is a good feeling. A good day. It was a nice rally for us. A win again, 14 times in Jordan, and we have a good lead in the Middle East Championship. The next step will be Lebanon Rally and we try to defend our title.”
Kuwait’s Meshari Al-Thefiri began the day with a 40.8-second cushion at the head of the MERC2 category and the second-placed Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X driver confirmed another ‘showroom’ class success after nearest rival Alex Feghali drove cautiously on the final day to gain a first-ever podium place in a MERC rally.
“All is good and thank God we passed all the stages and made it to the end. This is the first time we finished this rally and I am on the podium, so that is amazing.”
Shadi Sheban missed out on a second Jordan National Rally victory to a Khaled Juma, but managed to complete a career-best fourth place in the FIA event and being the first Jordanian home. He also takes an early lead in the National Championship following a win and a second-place over the two days.
A flat tyre and front differential issues cost Lebanon’s Shadi El-Fakih delays in the opening two stages of the final day and he slipped into the clutches of Qatar’s Nasser Khalifa Al-Atya after he incurred time penalties for leaving the service late and then going OTL during the ninth stage. He ended up with fifth place overall with Italian navigator Giovanni Bernacchini.
Saudi Arabia’s Saleh Al-Saif restarted under Rally2 after his accident and driveshaft woes on Friday and the Can-Am Maverick X3 driver climbed back to sixth place. That pushed local driver Ihab Al-Shorafa down to seventh and MERC3 category winner Asem Aref into eighth place. Defending two-wheel drive champion Henry Kahy also restarted under Rally2 and rounded off the finishers in ninth overall.
Source: AlKass Digital
Cover image credit: QNA Twitter
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