TEAM ABU DHABI PRODUCE ONE-TWO PODIUM FINISH IN DRAMA PACKED FSTI Team Abu Dhabi junior drivers claimed a stunning one-two podium finish in Fiesta SportTrophy International (FSTi) after three days of turbulent action came to a dramatic...
TEAM ABU DHABI PRODUCE ONE-TWO PODIUM FINISH IN DRAMA PACKED FSTI
Team Abu Dhabi junior drivers claimed a stunning one-two podium finish in Fiesta SportTrophy International (FSTi) after three days of turbulent action came to a dramatic conclusion in the Algarve Stadium, Portugal this weekend.
Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) backed Majed Al Shamsi and Bader Al Jabri had experienced difficulties on the loose gravel of the Portuguese stages, both having been forced into SupeRally early in the competition, however they learnt quickly from their mistakes and were able to adapt to the conditions in the Algarve countryside, continuing on to provide a remarkable first and second place finish for the Abu Dhabi duo.
The two drivers belong to the Abu Dhabi Junior Driver Development Programme, a grass roots initiative created by ADTA in order to identity talent from within the emirate and aid in the development of future rally champions. Both Al Shamsi and Al Bader joined the programme in 2007 after an exhaustive selection process that began with open auditions held in Abu Dhabi.
"Both Bader and Majed stood out during the auditions as representing an outstanding chance of reaching the top of the sport of rally -- the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), and the result at Rally de Portugal is another step closer to realising their potential," commented Ahmed Hussein, Deputy Director General, ADTA.
Starting the final day of enthralling action packed rallying, the two aspiring Abu Dhabi champions held second and third place in the FSTi. Having already fallen victim to the harsh elements of the hard rock surfaces earlier in the competition, both proceeding with caution through the remaining stages; a mature tactic that demonstrated their development and progression since their first visit to Portugal in 2009.
The no-frills tactic was to pay dividends as the leading driver, Christian Reidmann, dramatically succumbed to the hazardous conditions, forcing him out and resulting in the forfeit of his 19 minute lead on Emirati ace Al Shamsi.
"There have been so many causalities to the terrain during this rally, that we are just pleased to have completed successfully, let alone to both finish at the top of the podium," commented Al Shamsi. "Both Bader and I have finished in good shape and with confidence, something that will prove vital as we look to the rest of the FSTi season."
Talking about the success of the juniors, Team Abu Dhabi Team Manager, Ron Cremen said, "The boys were lucky with the final result, but nonetheless we are pleased. There is just no comparison between the boys' performance at the same event in 2009 and now."
"The improvement they have made in the last 12 months is testament to the success of the Abu Dhabi Junior Driver Development programme. You can't buy experience; you have to go out there and get it." Cremen added.
The Team Abu Dhabi juniors will continue their FSTi campaign at Rally Finland, 29th -31st July, where they will be joined by mentor and fellow Emirati competitor Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi, competing for BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team.