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Al-Rajhi sets pace at Hail Nissan Rally
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 11 - 03 - 2016

HAIL — Four-time winner Saudi Arabia's Yazeed Al-Rajhi and German navigator Timo Gotschalk cruised to the fastest time on the opening 7.8km super special stage of the Hail Nissan International Rally Thursday.
The Hummer crew were the class of the impressive 46-car field in north-central Saudi Arabia and will start the opening desert section Friday morning with an outright lead of 29.15 seconds.
Qatar's Sheikh Hamed Bin Eid Al-Thani began superbly in his Nissan Patrol and recorded the second quickest time of 5min 13.62sec. Saudi driver Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri rounded off the top three.
Bahrain's Hassan Al-Sadadi returned to action with Emirati navigator Nooh Buhmaid in a Predator Buggy and clocked the 21st quickest time. "It's great to be back in harness and I thoroughly enjoyed the short stage and we are both looking forward to the desert stages," said Al-Sadadi.
FIA World Cup T2 front-runner Emil Khneisser held 22nd place in his Nissan Middle East-backed patrol. Saudi front-runner Sami Al-Shammeri lost over 11 minutes with technical issues.
The early advantage in the T3 category fell to Mashna and Dhari Al-Shammeri in a time of 5min 47.93sec. The UAE duo of Khalid Al-Jaflah and Ahmed Malik were second in 5min 50.08sec and fellow Emiratis, Atif Al-Zarouni and Bader Al-Barrak, finished third in a Rage.
The rally is being staged under the patronage of Prince Saud Bin Abdul Mohsen Bin Abdul Aziz, governor of Hail, president of the Supreme Commission for Hail Development and the head of the Supreme Commission of the Hail Rally. The SAMF runs under the chairmanship of Prince Sultan Bin Bandar Al-Faisal and the event is being organized in conjunction with the High Authority for the Development of Hail.
The meat of the competitive action begins Friday morning at 07.35 with the first of four selective sections through the An Nafud Desert. The opening timed test runs for 123.40km between As Sufon and a finish in Camb Al Dol'o.


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