Dakar Rally: UAE’s Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi finishes eighth in Stage 11

Sheikh Khalid of Team Abu Dhabi - Peugeot Middle East finished in eight position in Stage 11 of the Dakar Rally as Carlos Sainz of Toyote held on to his overall lead.

Sport360 staff 2018/01/18

Abu Dhabi Racing and Peugeot Middle East official driver Sheikh Khalid bin Faisal Al Qassimi finished eighth in Wednesday’s stage 11 of the Dakar Rally to hold on to his overall seventh position in the standings.

Held in the Belen-Fiambala-Chilecito section in Argentina, stage 11 of the rally comprised of a total distance of 747km with a special section of 280 km.

Sheikh Khalid, along with his co-driver Xavier Panseri, suffered a broken suspension on their Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi just 50km into the stage but was able to negotiate the stage where the terrain varied between sand dunes, loose soil and vegetation after inspecting the damage.

Aiming to improve his overall ranking, Sheikh Khalid’s progress was slightly hampered by the delay but he drove with determination in an attempt to make up for the lost time.

Sheikh Khalid hopes to finish on a high with two days remaining.

Following the results, the Emirati driver hoped to make the most of the last two remaining days of the rally.

Sheikh Khalid said: “We started well with the top cars and posted some surprising times. However, the rough roads led to the impact on the rear suspension during the first few kilometres of the stage.

“My co-driver and I inspected the damage to the car and decided to continue the rally in order to reach the service area.

“We drove about 257km with a broken suspension and lost valuable time, but thank God we are still among the top-ten maintaining our seventh position in the overall rankings.

Bernhard Ten Brinke of Toyota was the winner of Stage 11.

“I must thank the boys at PH Sport for the amazing job they are doing on maintaining the car and preparing a very competitive vehicle.

“Two days and the rally ends and I hope the best for us.”

Dutchman Bernhard Ten Brinke of Toyota was the winner of the stage followed by three Team Peugeot-Total drivers in  Cyril Despres, Carlos Sainz and Stéphane Peterhansel and Nasser Al-Attiyah respectively.

Rally leader Sainz maintained a 50-minute advantage over team-mate Peterhansel in the overall standings following the results in Stage 11.

Meanwhile, UAE’s Mohammed Balooshi climbed to 29th in the overall bikes category in a field of 86 riders.

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Carlos Sainz Dakar Rally Peugeot Middle East Sheikh Khalid Team Abu Dhabi Racing Toyota Racing