Khalid Al Qassimi shrugs off Acropolis setback to focus Italy

Emirati driver aims to find compensation in Sardegna following Greece disappointment in Abu Dhabi Citroën

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2 June, 2013: The UAE’s Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi will quickly bury his World Rally Championship disappointment in Greece to focus on an immediate opportunity to find compensation in Italy later this month.

Khalid Al Qassimi and Scott Martin, Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Khalid Al Qassimi and Scott Martin, Citroën DS3 WRC, Citroën Total Abu Dhabi World Rally Team

Photo by: XPB Images

Partnered by British co-driver Scott Martin, Al Qassimi had been on course for his best WRC finish of the season in the Acropolis Rally before his Abu Dhabi Citroën Total World Rally Team DS3 WRC rolled and went out of the event on Saturday afternoon.

It was a frustrating exit for Al Qassimi, who had been aiming to improve on his ninth place finish in Portugal last month, but that has now become his target for the seventh round of the 2013 WRC campaign, the Rally d'Italia Sardegna, from 20-23 June.

“Things can go wrong in rallying, but you learn from them,” said the UAE driver. “When something like that happens you just have to put it out of your head and move on.

“I’ve just had a meeting with the team now and we’re looking to get a better set-up for the car in Sardegna. It was ok this week, but it’s still not the way I like it.”

Describing the incident which put him out of the Acropolis Rally, Al Qassimi said: “It was at a medium fast corner, and it had started to rain. The stages were rough and we had raised the car slightly to avoid damaging it underneath, and that may have changed the balance.

“I was pushing at that point and the car just slid and rolled. This is a very sensitive car, and a small change can make a big difference, so we still have work to do to get things right.”

Al Qassimi, who made the last of his three WRC appearances in Italy two years ago, expects another tough examination in Sardegna. He said: “I’m taking things one step at a time after being out of the WRC since 2011, and it’s not easy to match the commitment of the drivers at the top level, who have so much more experience.

“They know the rallies much better. They know when to push, and they know when to back off if there’s any danger. Everyone is pushing to the limits and when you do that you have to take a few risks. I’m trying to get the car right, and to develop my relationship with my co-driver, and we just need to put everything together.”

Khalid Al Qassimi Press

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Scott Martin
Teams Citroën World Rally Team
Article type Race report
Tags abu dhabi, acropolis, citroen, greece, khalid al qassimi, wrc