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Abdulla stays second
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 24 - 07 - 2016

TERUEL, SpainQatar's Adel Hussein Abdulla was superbly placed to mount a late challenge for T2 honors at the Teruel-based Baja Spain Aragon, round five of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, Saturday.
Running a Nissan Patrol with support from Nissan Middle East and the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF), the Qatari - who is partnered by Frenchman Jean-Michel Polato - won the opening super special stage Friday evening and finished second in the longer Celades selective section Saturday morning after getting held up in the dust of slower cars after a minor navigational error.
That ensured that the Doha-based driver headed into the subsequent two stages trailing T2 event and series leader Yasir Saeidan of Saudi Arabia by just 5min 02sec.
"My co-drive Jean-Michel lost his way inside the stage and that cost us around two minutes," said Adel Hussein. "When we came back to the right track we got stuck in the dust of the cars ahead of us and that slowed me down.
"Saying that, the Nissan worked superbly and I have the confidence to push over the last two stages and try and take the lead again."
The Qatari made the perfect start on the opening 9.2km super special stage, near Teruel, Friday evening. The Qatari carded a time of 7min 19.6sec and that was sufficient to give the Nissan Patrol the overnight advantage in the T2 category by the margin of just 1.8 seconds from rival Saeidan.
Competitors tackled two selective sections of 181.83km and 184.80km Saturday through the Jiloca and Comarca de Teruel regions. The Celades stage was first on the agenda in high temperatures and Saeidan clocked the target time in T2 of 2hr 27min 00sec and that was sufficient for the Saudi to snatch the T2 advantage heading back to Teruel for the midday service.
Adel Hussein drove in a measured pace to reach the flying finish 5min 04sec behind his rival to remain firmly in contention heading into the remaining two stages of the event. Fellow Qatari Mohammed Al-Harqan set the third quickest time, but delays on the opening super special stage meant that he slipped to third in T2 behind the Spanish driver Josep Sole.


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