Electrical problems force Zubair-Kuwari to retire from FIA World Cup rally

April 07, 2019

Abdullah al Zubair and Nasser al Kuwari in action during the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge last week

Electrical problems during the second round of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup in Abu Dhabi forced a frustrating  retirement for AZ Racing’s Abdullah al Zubair and his co-driver Nasser al Kuwari – dealing a significant blow to the duo’s T3 class title ambitions.

Performing strongly on the opening stage of the week-long Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, difficulties began to surface for Zubair and Kuwari three quarters of the way into first leg when the electrics started to cause problems.

Retiring and returning to the service park, where the Powertec Dubai and South Racing mechanics worked through the night to get to the bottom of the issue with the No 333 BRP Can-Am Maverick X3, hopes of improvements on day two were ended almost immediately when the issue resurfaced.

Having failed to take the start in second leg, Zubair and Kuwari were able to show glimpses of their true pace and competitiveness in third leg and even though the four-wheel drive failed, they still managed to finish fourth in T3 on that stage – the longest of the event.

However, more trouble with the electrics, though, forced and eventual retirement from the rally with one day of action remaining on Friday.

A disappointed Zubair said, “Its really sad to retire from the rally, the championship is now very difficult for us to achieve but we’ll keep fighting.

“Now, we’re looking ahead to the next races where we plan to be back where we should be.”

Qatar’s Kuwari said, “We came to Abu Dhabi with high hopes, as one of the favourites in our class, and we performed very well until the technical problems started to occur.”

Round three of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup was scheduled to be the Turkmen Desert Race in Turkmenistan has been cancelled.

The next FIA round event will be Rally Kazakhstan between May 26-June 1.