Ford Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Khalid 12th in France

We’re willing him on to secure a top 10 placing in this year’s WRC

Sheikh Khalid Rally France

Whilst his teammate, Mikko Hirvonen put himself into contention for the Driver’s championship with two rounds left of this year’s World Rally Championship, Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi finished in 12th at the Rallye de France this weekend. But he’ll need to place better at the next round to achieve his target for this year…

After a career-best fifth place finish in last month’s Rally Australia, Sheikh Khalid, dubbed the Flying Falcon, must have been disappointed with a 12th place, even though the 33-year old ended day one in 16th finally finishing in 13th, but benefitting an overnight exclusion for Petter Solberg from third, after his car was deemed under weight.

“I’m pleased to have finished a difficult event which was my first asphalt rally for a year,” said Sheikh Khalid, competing in his third French Rally. “It was difficult to maintain confidence at times – with inconsistent damp patches covered in dirt and loose gravel that had been dragged onto the road by the cars ahead.”

The Emirati driver and his Ford Fiesta RS WRC co-driver Michael Orr took some positives out of finishing such a challenging event. “It was my first experience in the Ford Fiesta RS WRC using Michelin Pilot Sport tyres which performed well,so I’m happy to have finished the event by sustaining pace and consistency across the whole rally – it’s a shame I ended up a couple of positions short of scoring points.”

Sheikh Khalid Rally France

Al Qassimi’s Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car carried a stylish new livery after a massive petition on Facebook by fans keen for Ford to use the new-look they sported during testing in France in June.

Team Abu Dhabi – consisting of Al Qassimi and Production World Rally Championship (PWRC) drivers Bader Al Jabri and Majed Al Shamsi – reunites for round 12 of the 13-event season as the series heads into the season’s penultimate round in Spain from October 20-23.

Mikko Hirvonen

Mikko Hirvonen hunts the WRC title

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