Nasser Al-Attiyah completes a cakewalk win in Kuwait

Sport360 staff 09:23 27/03/2016
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Peerless: Nasser Al-Attiyah.

The win was never in doubt as the 11-time FIA Middle East rally champion reached the finish in Fintas yesterday with a winning margin of 11min 24.9sec.

He and French navigator Matthieu Baumel controlled their pace at the three-day rally from start-tofinish to deliver yet another faultless team performance, a record 62nd MERC rally win for the driver and an 11th for his navigator.

“It was important that I won here and collected the maximum points, but I wasn’t really pushed on this rally,” said Al-Attiyah. “I would like to see my rivals come back on the next rallies. The car was fantastic and we managed to win every stage on an event that I enjoy very much.”

Newly-crowned Kuwaiti national champion Meshari Al-Thefiri, whose father Ahmed won the event before it became a round of the series way back in 1981, capped a memorable weekend with second overall and outright victory in the hard-fought MERC 2 category in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.

Partnered by Qatar’s Nasser Al- Kuwari on this occasion, he became only the second Kuwaiti in MERC history to reach the podium and the first to record a second-placed finish – the Kuwaiti duo of Mufeed Mubarak and Saad Al-Melaifi finished third in the MERC category at the Jordan WRC Rally in 2011.

“This is the icing on the cake of a fabulous weekend for me,“ said a delighted Al-Thefiri. “I confirmed the Kuwait Championship yesterday and decided to push hard today. Second place and the podium is a fantastic result for me and for motor sport in Kuwait.”

Qatar’s Rashed Al-Nuami and Italian navigator Nicola Arena struggled with the loss of third gear on their Subaru Impreza for two stages and retired from third position with gearbox issues with one stage to go, although they maintained the unofficial MERC 2 championship advantage after two rounds.

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