Dubai's Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei finishes second in Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge Super Special Stage
Dubai's Khalifa Al-Mutaiwei and German co-driver Andreas Schulz finished second overall in the short opening super special stage of the 2012 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge at Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi on Sunday afternoon.
The Fazza Rally Team driver, who runs an X-raid Mini All4 Racing under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai, just needed to stay out of trouble on the tricky little spectator stage in advance of five gruelling days of motor sport action through the UAE deserts.
Al-Mutaiwei, who returned to the hot seat at the recent Italian Baja, set a time of 1m 51.90s through the two kilometre stage, which was won by the Russian crew of Boris Gadasin and Dan Shchemel in a G-Force Proto.
Russia's Vladimir Vasilev lost time on the stage with technical problems with his G-Force Proto, leaving Ilya Kusnetsov to take third and Jean-Louis Schlesser to hold fourth overall.
The meat of the action takes place this week in the Arabian desert, with the event centralised at the Qasr Al-Sarab bivouac.
The first desert stage on Monday takes teams from Abu Dhabi to the bivouac via a 285.05km Al-Gharbia selective section and the subsequent three days involve loops around the bivouac through the Rub Al-Khali (Empty Quarter), with the fifth and final day guiding teams back to the finish in Abu Dhabi at 16.30hrs on Friday, April 6th.