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Dakar 2018 / Day 3 / Khalid Al Qassimi 10th

on January 09, 2018

Khalid Al Qassimi moves up to 10th place as Dakar Rally processes / Day 3

Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi: ”Overall it was a good day for us, the distractions we faced were part of the challenge”.

Pisco, (Peru): Abu Dhabi Racing and Peugeot Middle East official driver Sheikh Khalid bin Faisal Al Qassimi, behind the wheel of a Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi, with co-driver Xavier Panseri, continued to make steady progress despite the many challenges posed by the 40th edition of the legendary Dakar Rally, finishing the Pisco-San Juan De Marcona stage in 11th place and moving up to 10th overall at the end of day three.

The day posed several challenges, especially in the 100km stretch of sand dunes coupled with distractions from the bikes category and the challenges posed by rival cars.

Sheikh Khalid though followed a balanced rhythm in order to avoid making mistakes, but the Dakar is so full of surprises that one must be prepared for what lies ahead and beyond the imposing dunes.

The Abu Dhabi driver though is optimistic as the rally moves into the next day of this epic 14-day marathon, and said: "Today was a tough yet good day for us. I was following a balanced rhythm in order to avoid making any mistakes, but the Dakar is known famously for the surprises it can throw up along the way.

"We faced navigational challenges over the opening 30km but everything went well thereafter until we caught up with the bikes that had started ahead of us.

We saw a lot of bikes struggling ahead of us in the dunes; some of the bikes were stuck in the sand 50km from the start.

"We tried to ride away from the bikes as they were blocking us, in the process I got stuck twice and lost precious time.

"I regained my momentum after passing the bikes and continued with a balanced pace; but as I said earlier, the Dakar is full of surprises!

"I hit a bike ahead of me on a small dune, but fortunately the rider was fine. However, we had to stop to help him and to remove the bike that had got stuck under our car.

"Overall it was a good day for us, the distractions we faced were part of the challenges.

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"I am now looking forward to continue with the rally in a balanced rhythm and hopefully without any problems.”

Next up is Stage 4, the San Juan de Marcona - San Juan de Marcona stage comprising a total of 444 km (330km of special section).

The beach where the chrono starts is perfect for an online start, with nice rows of 15 for motorcycles, and accelerator competitions at 4 for cars. After this sprint session on the beach, the drivers will tackle one of the longest sandy areas ever used by the Dakar: 100 kilometers in all, with dunes of all sizes! The gaps can widen on this special, especially as the last canyon will be difficult to find.

The anniversary edition will run through three countries in South America - Peru, Bolivia and Argentina – and the Abu Dhabi Racing driver is aiming for a good result at the end of the annual event that attracts some of the biggest names from across the globe.

The 40th edition of the Dakar Rally will take place on the South American continent for the tenth time with drivers getting the opportunity to re-acquaint themselves with the Pacific Ocean and the Peruvian dunes, which the riders and drivers will tackle after having enjoyed several days in the Peruvian capital of Lima.