The new WRC 2 Pro category for professional drivers in factory-supported R5 cars is quickly developing into a four-way battle for the inaugural title, as drivers head to this weekend’s 53rd Vodafone Rally of Portugal.
Monte-Carlo category winner Gus Greensmith leads the series by just five points after six rounds, but the young Englishman’s reward for a solid start to the season has been a debut seat in the third official M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Fiesta WRC alongside Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen this weekend. Continue reading Battle Lines Drawn As WRC 2 PRO Rivals Head To Portugal→
M-Sport are pleased to confirm that Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari will pilot a Ford Fiesta RRC in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) this year as the Qatari driver competes in the new WRC-2 category for the Seashore Qatar Rally Team. Starting his campaign in Mexico – with full support from M-Sport – Al-Kuwari will then tackle the gravel stages of Portugal, Greece and Italy alongside Irish co-driver Killian Duffy.
Well known on the Middle Eastern rally scene, Al-Kuwari has been a regular in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship since 2003 – finishing a close second to fellow countryman Nasser Al-Attiyah in last year’s series. Winning all six rounds of the Qatar Rally Championship, Al-Kuwari was also crowned 2012 Qatar Rally Champion and made his first venture to the international stage with rounds in both the European Rally Championship (ERC) and WRC. Contesting two rounds of the world series, the Qatari even scored a world championship point on his global debut at the Acropolis Rally of Greece.
Taking to the wheel of the Fiesta RRC for the first time during a visit to M-Sport’s headquarters in the north of England earlier this month, Al-Kuwari completed a short 65km test at the team’s test stage in the confines of Greystoke Forest. Relishing the opportunity to prove his potential behind the wheel of the Fiesta, Al-Kuwari will make his competitive debut with the model at Rally Mexico in March.
Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari said: “M-Sport is very well known in the industry. They have great marketing and proved that they are one of the best in their field – it’s easy to see when you look at how many Fiestas they have competing all over the world! For Seashore, M-Sport was the obvious choice. We didn’t test the [Ford] Fiesta [RRC] for so long, but from the first few kilometres I can say that it is very easy to drive. It has great control, great torque, the suspension is amazing, and that is exactly what you need when you are driving on gravel stages as we will for most of the season. Competing in WRC2 this year, I think a top-five finish will be a good overall result in our first full season both in the championship and with the Fiesta [RRC].”
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