The Skydive Dubai Rally Team duo of Rashid Al Ketbi and Khalid Al Kendi are ready for a step into the unknown this weekend as they compete in the Giru di Corsica-Tour de Corse – the fourth round of the 2012 Intercontinental Rally Challenge [IRC].
The Emirati pair are tackling an ambitious programme of European IRC events this season in a Skoda Fabia S2000, with each event offering its own unique challenges.
The island of Corsica is one of the most notorious in the rally calendar and the special stages take place on tarmac, are twisty and demanding and often feature stomach-churning altitude and hairpin bends. In rallying circles, the event is often referred to as the ‘Rally of the 1000 Corners’.
“It’s going to be a totally new challenge for us and one we are both looking forward to,” Al Ketbi, the winner of last year’s Middle East Rally Championship Jordan Rally, said.
“We have heard how challenging the stages are in Corsica and will not be taking any risks, although we want to put ourselves into a position to score IRC points.”
The Intercontinental Rally Challenge had already visited the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean, the island of Gran Canaria and the twisty, demanding lanes of the Circuit of Ireland, before action resumes in Corsica.
Al Ketbi and Al Kendi have endured mixed fortunes on their first events. They were forced out in the Azores with a broken wheel and continued the following day without being able to score IRC points.
But the duo then finished an excellent 10th overall in Gran Canaria and now hold equal 16th in the championship standings.
Rivals to the Skydive Dubai Team this weekend include defending IRC champion and series leader Andreas Mikkelsen, his Finnish rival Juho Hanninen, Czech driver Jan Kopecky and the talented young German Sepp Wiegand.
The event starts in Ajaccio in the south-west of the island on Thursday afternoon. There are 14 special stages, totalling 318.23km, with three taking place on Thursday, a further five on Friday and six on Saturday.