M-Sport supported driver Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari dominated the WRC 2 category at Rally Argentina this weekend. Piloting their Seashore Qatar Rally Team Ford Fiesta RRC, the Qatari and co-driver Killian Duffy were in a class of their own – taking victory by an impressive 13 minutes.
The result marks Al-Kuwari’s second victory in the category following a similarly impressive performance at Rally Mexico earlier in the year. Indeed the Qatari’s performance is made all the more noteworthy by the fact that this was his first venture to the notoriously difficult event.
Despite his unfamiliarity with the Argentine stages, the Qatari drove a faultless rally. Rarely challenged by his rivals, Al-Kuwari complemented his intelligent approach with sensational pace which saw him secure 11 of a possible 14 stage victories.
As the only driver to take two victories from the category thus far, Al-Kuwari now heads the Championship standings. Contesting the Acropolis Rally later this month – an event the Fiesta driver is familiar with – Al-Kuwari will be hoping to extend his lead.
But next up for the Qatari and his Irish co-driver is Rally Jordan as they continue their FIA Middle East Rally Championship campaign with a similar Ford Fiesta RRC.
Abdulaiz Al-Kuwari said:
“This is a very tough rally – up until the very last kilometre you have to keep total concentration to ensure you finish. Luckily for us we had a very good lead starting today so we could afford to lose one, two, even five minutes.
“We are now leading the championship, and to be honest that’s far more than we were hoping for! We spoke with Malcolm Wilson before the season and the aim was to finish in the top-five. We know we are not the fastest in the category and in Europe there are a lot of fast drivers so we will wait and see what happens in Greece.
“I would like to thank all the M-Sport mechanics for a fantastic job this weekend. Every morning they gave us a car which felt like a brand new Fiesta. It’s a great pleasure for me to work with M-Sport and thanks to them, we are able to achieve results like this. I’m sure Malcolm is happy too to see his car win by so much! I also want to thank Seashore for all their support – without them this would not be possible.”
Killian Duffy said:
“It’s a great feeling to be leading the Championship now. At the start of the year we said that we would be happy with a top-five finish, so to be leading with a lot more points than a number of the other competitors is a great feeling.
“Abdulaziz [Al-Kuwari] is doing a great job. Ok, we were the only regional rally car on this event but sometimes it’s harder just to get to the end of the event as opposed to picking your pace. He’s driven perfectly on his first time out here – a faultless rally on a really difficult event.”
Seashore Qatar Rally Team Manager, Nasser Al-Kuwari, said:
“This is our second victory in WRC 2 and we are now leading the championship so of course we are very happy with that. I particularly want to thank our sponsors and the Qatari government, because without them these victories would not have been possible. Abdulaziz [Al-Kuwari] is improving with each event and we hope to continue like this.”
M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“We’ve seen another really mature drive from Abdulaziz [Al-Kuwari] today which now sees him take the lead of the WRC 2 category. To come to an event like this – one which is extremely hard on the cars and the crews – and drive faultlessly is very impressive.
“Next [in WRC 2] he’ll compete in Greece – an event he has contested before – and I’m sure he’ll be able to make good use of his experience for another fantastic result.
“It’s also great to see the [Ford] Fiesta RRC performing so well and taking another category win. The car has worked perfectly all weekend and it’s clear to see that it’s one of the most competitive in it’s class.”