Abu Dhabi Racing and Peugeot Middle East official driver Sheikh Khalid bin Faisal Al Qassimi, behind the wheel of a Peugeot 3008 DKR with Xavier Panseri as co-driver finished the Dakar 6th overall. It was a satisfying and successful end to a campaign that saw fluctuating fortunes for the Abu Dhabi Racing driver, including a broken suspension on the penultimate stage and negotiating through terrain ranging from sand dunes, loose soil and vegetation - not to mention being stranded in swelling river waters following an incessant downpour on Day 7.
When he began his campaign on January 6, Sheikh Khalid's primary goal was to just complete the endurance and gain as much of experience as possible. But finishing inside the top 10 with a sixth overall classification is a huge achievement for the Abu Dhabi Racing driver. "I was not pushing on the final stage because we wanted to bring the car home safely," Sheikh Khalid said after the race.
“I am happy to have finished the Dakar this year. All along I was dreaming of finishing inside the top 15, and here I am in 6th place overall! Even though I enjoyed myself a lot, it was not an easy adventure, the route was very challenging. Importantly, our times were in the top five at most of the waypoints on stages."
"Everyone in the team did a great job; I would like to thank each and everyone on the team for the hard work that they have put in which has gone a long way in producing this result. I also would like to congratulate Peugeot Sport on winning the Dakar with Carlos Sainz, amazing performance indeed. and now the matador has 2 Dakar titles under his belt (2010 and 2018)," he said, proud and happy.
There are rumours that - after the Peugeot Factory crew retires from the Dakar - the Abu Dhabi crew with PH Sport will eventually take over the Peugeot 3008 DKR and will be back with a bigger team... maybe in the colours of Citroen? Déja-Vu...
Photos: Abu Dhabi Racing
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