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Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014


Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014


Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014


Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014













































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Abu Dhabi DC: Record victory for Schlesser ahead of Al-Mutaiwei in the UAE.





There was to be no fairytale homecoming for the UAE’s Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei (X-raid Mini) as veteran rally driver Jean-Louis Schlesser (Schlesser Buggy) wrapped up an historic sixth Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge title by winning friday’s final leg.

Schlesser’s win means he now holds more Desert Challenge titles than any other driver. Nevertheless, after more than 20 hours of gruelling competition across the demanding terrain of the Western Region of Al Gharbia, the Frenchman was only able to sew up victory when Al-Mutaiwei’s Mini All4 Racing car experienced problems with its fan on the final day.

Partnered by co-driver Konstantin Zhilstov from Russia in his Sonangol Buggy, Schlesser proved that there is no substitute for experience in the world’s ultimate desert rally as he recorded a winning margin of 01:37:19 hours in round 2 of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallys.

"This is such a good win as there are so many big teams and strong competitors taking part this year," said Schlesser, who completed the rally in 21:39:16 hours. "The important thing is not how you start, but how you finish, and today was good. It’s always great to get onto the podium."

Despite the final day problems, Al Mutaiwei and co-driver Andreas Schulz had enjoyed an impressive return to one of the world’s toughest rallies. Racing for Team X-Raid, the 2004 FIA World Champion finished 46 minutes ahead of another Frenchman, Patrick Sireyjol (SMG Gache Buggy) in 3rd place.

"This is probably the most demanding rally with sand dunes in the world," said the Emirati. "I am quite happy to finish second and to see that I still have the speed to match the rest after my seven-year absence. I must not forget that this is still a learning year for me and to finish second is still a pleasing achievement."

Arguably the UAE’s most experienced rally driver, Yahya Bel Helei celebrated a remarkable 22nd consecutive appearance in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge by simultaneously winning the T2 class and finishing 4th overall. Driving a Nissan Patrol, it was yet another excellent performance by the Emirati and co-driver Khalid Al Kendi, who also took fourth place last year.

"This rally is very difficult and that’s why it attracts the top names from this sport. I’m very pleased with my performance, especially as there were several hours between me and my closest competitor in the category," said Bel Helei. "As an Emirati, I’m proud to have established such a good record over the past 22 years of competing here."

Throughout the competition, Middle East drivers once again demonstrated their ability to compete with the world’s best in the extremely demanding desert rally. Matar Al Mansoori from the UAE and his Omani co-driver Ahmed Al Hajri finished a highly creditable sixth, while Nabil Al Shamsi from the UAE and Ibrahim Al Muhanna from Saudi Arabia also performed well in their Nissans.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, founder of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and president of rally organisers the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), said: "This year, the Desert Challenge has attracted a higher standard of international competitors than ever before. At the same time it is extremely positive to see such strong, competitive performances by the many UAE entrants."

"Jean-Louis Schlesser is one of the toughest competitors in the rally world, so it is fitting that he should make history today in what is acknowledged to be one of the most demanding rallies in the world," he added.

2012/04/06 | 21:28 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/DRINKWATER/AZIZ











Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:33 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS05 on Thursday | 29.08.2014 03:24 |




Dakar Rally 2015: The real Odyssey before - or how to be at the Start in time. | 29.08.2014 02:40 |




Defender Challenge VIDEO: Impressions of the series by Bowler Rd 4 Wales | 29.08.2014 01:31 |




Defender Challenge: Rd 5 of the series by Bowler takes place this weekend. | 29.08.2014 01:27 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda HRC riders finished first part of the marathon stage. | 29.08.2014 00:47 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:10 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 17:08 |




Rally dos Sertões: Top 10 cars mixed after hardest stage - Spinelli still leader. | 28.08.2014 16:33 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Impressions from the Marathonrally in Brazil (77). | 28.08.2014 04:57 |




Rally dos Sertões: Two X-Rally NWM Ford Ranger in good 2nd and 4th position. | 28.08.2014 04:48 |




Baja Poland: Poland to welcome 112 competitors in Baja Poland this weekend. | 28.08.2014 02:20 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 01:56 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS04 Wednesday | 28.08.2014 00:44 |




Rally dos Sertões: KTM’s Marc Coma hangs on to overall lead in dos Sertoes. | 27.08.2014 23:48 |




Rally dos Sertões: Paulo Gonçalves clinches victory in SS04 - the longest stage. | 27.08.2014 23:32 |




Desafío Inca: German manufacturer battle - X-Raid Mini vs SAM Mercedes CC | 27.08.2014 19:26 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:33 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 18:29 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS03 on Tuesday | 27.08.2014 17:55 |




Rally dos Sertões: Both Ford Rangers reached top speeds above 175 km/h. | 27.08.2014 17:07 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Onboard with X-Rally Ford Ranger Baumgart / Cincea | 27.08.2014 16:35 |




Rally dos Sertões: Stagewin for Toyota´s Varela in S3 but Spinelli still leader. | 27.08.2014 16:19 |




Rally dos Sertões: Goncalves - "Hope to ride hard without making mistakes" | 27.08.2014 16:00 |




Rally dos Sertões: Marc Coma wins again in Bikes and remains the leadership. | 27.08.2014 15:35 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Mitsubishi Petrobras Team crews SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 19:14 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment rally video of SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 18:57 |




Baja Poland: X-raid with four Mini All4 Racing - chase for World Cup continues. | 26.08.2014 17:21 |




Baja Poland: Overdrive Racing with five Toyota Hilux and Nasser Al Attiyah. | 26.08.2014 16:45 |




Rally dos Sertões: Mitsubishi´s Spinelli / Haddad the new leader in the cars. | 26.08.2014 05:17 |




Rally dos Sertões: Gonçalves wins SS2 in Bikes but Coma still overall leader. | 26.08.2014 05:02 |




Rally dos Sertões PHOTOS: Nice impressions from the first days in Brazil (79) | 26.08.2014 04:53 |




Baja Poland VIDEO: Official trailer of the Baja Poland FIA CC World Cup 2014 | 26.08.2014 04:32 |




Donaldson CC: Test of character for the teams at South African Vryburg 450 | 26.08.2014 03:49 |




Rallyraid: Kamaz Master legend Ilgizar Mardeev tragically died in an accident. | 26.08.2014 03:09 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results CARS & TRUCKS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 02:30 |




Rally dos Sertões RESULTS: Overall results BIKES & QUADS SS02 on Monday | 26.08.2014 01:59 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Driving onboard with Overdrive Toyota Hilux of Verala | 26.08.2014 01:46 |




Rally dos Sertões: Honda´s Paulo Goncalves wins second stage in the bikes. | 26.08.2014 01:28 |




Rally dos Sertões VIDEO: Official no comment video of SS01 Sunday (crash) | 26.08.2014 00:56 |




















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