UAE racers do good on first day Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2012
Competitors from UAE enjoyed a strong start on day one of this year’s Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, as they snatched five out of the nine podium places across three categories, at the end of the 300 km Nissan Patrol Leg 1.
Team X-Raid Mini All4 Racing’s UAE driver, Al-Mutaiwei marked his eight year absence from the sport by grabbing second spot on the opening day, only falling behind leader Jean-Louis Schlesser. He was followed by fellow compatriot Yahya Bel Helei, who made his 22nd consecutive appearance in the Desert Challenge.
In the bike category, reigning champion, Marc Coma held off the challenge from current FIM world champion, Helder Rodrigues and UAE-based, Sam Sunderland to claim a stage-win.
In the quad-bike category, Emirati Obaid Al Kitbe claimed an overall stage win in his Honda TRX 900CC. He was followed by, Sebastian Husseini, who had finished first in Sunday’s Super Special Stage. Lukasz Laskawiec from Poland came third.
The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is organised by the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE, whose President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, is also the founder of the rally. It is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region and features a high-profile line-up of supporters, including the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Nissan and ADNOC.
The race will be held over a span of five days and the successful participants will cross the finishing line in Abu Dhabi this Friday.