Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi confirms he will drive in 2017 Dakar Rally: ‘It’s like a dream come true’

Sheikh Khalid will get behind the wheel of a Peugeot 2008 DKR to compete in the 35th staging of the event in South America, which will see stages take place in Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay between January 2-14.

Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi will be behind the wheel of a Peugeot 2008 DKR at the 2017 Dakar Rally in South America. Photo Courtesy Abu Dhabi Racing
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The challenges of the Dakar Rally await the Emirati driver, who is also the chairman of Abu Dhabi Racing, after announcing his participation for the 2017 event in South America.

South America

The Emirati rally driver will start his 2017 season off in style when he takes part in the Dakar Rally early next year. Sheikh Khalid will get behind the wheel of a Peugeot 2008 DKR to compete in the 35th staging of the event in South America, which will see stages take place in Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay between January 2-14.

Tested

The Peugeot 2008 DKR emerged a winner on its 2016 debut at the Dakar, with Stephane Peterhansel behind the wheel and Jean-Paul Cottret as his co-driver. The 2008 DKR had been successfully tested by Sheikh Khalid last September ahead of his Rally Morocco cross-country participation the following month in October.

Dream come true

Still new to the cross-country platform of off-road racing, although with extensive experience in the FIA World Rally Championship and the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, Sheikh Khalid is already excited about competing at the highest level of cross-country rallies. “I’ve been thinking about it for a long time,” he said. “It’s like a dream come true.”

Learnt a lot

“I enjoyed my participation in past cross-country events like the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, Baja Aragon and Rally Morocco,” Sheikh Khalid said of his past cross-country experiences. “Through these events I’ve learned a lot and I would like to challenge my limits once again, but this time on the toughest desert rally in the world. I’m so excited.”

New limits

“The support I will get from Peugeot Sport and PH Sport during the event will make me feel more confident, which will push me to set new limits for myself at the Dakar,” Sheikh Khalid said.

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