Al Qassimi gears up for Argentina challenge with successful test

By Abu Dhabi Racing
Published April 19, 2018

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) – Round 5, Rally Argentina

Sheikh Khalid: “In Argentina, I will first look to finish safely and to put in the miles and basically enjoy driving the car.

Abu Dhabi - Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT driver Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi conducted a successful test in Portugal in preparation for Round 5 of the World Rally Championship (WRC), the YPF Rally Argentina which will run from April 26-29.

Incidentally, this will be Sheikh Khalid’s second appearance at Rally Argentina following his maiden outing in 2015 where he finished sixth overall with co-driver Chris Patterson.

Given the three-year gap participating in Argentina, Sheikh Khalid views this as a completely new rally where the pace-notes will be different and hence he will be happy to come away with any result. However, of paramount importance for Sheikh Khalid is to finish the rally in the best position possible.

Based at Villa Carlos Paz, 700km north-west of Buenos Aires, the rally comprises of 18 stages run over a distance of 1,300.65km with the super special stage held in downtown Villa Carlos Paz on the night of Thursday, April 26, which will set the tone for the following days of the rally.

Returning behind the wheel of a World Rally Car after a gap of nearly seven months, Sheikh Khalid is nevertheless looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead in Argentina.

Following the Portugal test, Sheikh Khalid said: “It was a good test given that the last time I drove the car was more than six-seven months ago. 

“Since then the car has undergone extreme changes – the chassis, balance – so for me it [the changes] is a big change. 

“I have just come back from a cross-country race and will now be driving a World Rally Car, so the change naturally is huge. 

“The most important thing though is that during this time the C3 WRC has undergone huge development. There are now plenty of new parts and there is also a good feeling with these new parts. It is more about performance, stability and reliability. 

“This is a new challenge for me coming from a cross-country race. Basically, it will be an entirely new rally for me where I will have to write completely new notes. Moreover, the rally runs through a new area where I have never been before. 

“In Argentina, I will first look to finish safely and to put in the miles and basically enjoy driving the car.”