6/22/2019 5:53:55 PM

Qatar’s Adel Abdulla faces fightback after wiper issues in Italy

Qatar’s Adel Abdulla faces fightback after wiper issues in Italy

Pordenone, Italy: Qatar’s Adel Abdulla faces a fightback over the final stages of the Italian Baja, round three of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas, after slipping to eighth in the T3 rankings with windscreen wiper issues after three of the event’s six timed sections on Saturday.

The Doha-based driver and French co-driver Jean-Michel Polato clocked a time of 10min 11sec through the opening 12.09km Murlis super special on Friday evening and that left the Can-Am Maverick X3 crew in third in the T3 category for modified cross-country vehicles. The early advantage went to Latvian driver Aleksandr Dorosinskiy with Santiago Navarro of Spain in second place.

Three runs through a challenging and slightly modified gravel stage of 79.43km followed on Saturday. The timed section started and finished at Barbeano.

Running with support from the FN Speed Team and Ooredoo, the Qatar telecommunications company, Adel ceded time to his rivals in the opener and reached the finish in ninth and slipped to eighth in the overall rankings. Problems with a faulty windscreen wiper had cost the Qatari 39 minutes in the muddy and sodden stage.

Dorosinskiy set the fastest time of 1hr 09min 54sec to extend his outright T3 lead over Italian driver Amerigo Ventura to 3min 53sec. Navarro held third and Russian Fedor Vorobyev and Italy’s Michele Cinotto rounded off the top five.

Adel said: “We had a big problem with the wiper on the screen. Normally there is no screen for this car but we decided to fix it in for this race. The wiper broke in the first two kilometres of the first stage this morning in a water splash. I could not see anything. I tried to continue, hoping that the wind would drive the water off the screen at speed. Then I hit a big ditch. I could not see it because of the wiper problem.

“We tried to continue without stopping but it was very risky. We spent a lot of time trying to open the front screen and remove it. Later on, it was raining and there was a lot of mud. But we lost the time trying to open the front screen.”

The Qatari returned to a competitive pace with the fifth fastest time of 1hr 17min 22sec on the second run through the special. Dorosinskiy suffered delays, dropped to fifth and handed the lead to Ventura to take into the final timed test of the day. Vorobyev and Navarro were second and third overall.

On Sunday, crews face two runs through another challenging and revised stage of 80.15km that starts and finishes in Gradisca before the return to Pordenone for the ceremonial finish.

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