Yazeed Al Rajhi of Saudi Arabia celebrates after winning the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.
bay today, Journalist
Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al Rajhi proved his consistency as king as he claimed his first Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (ADDC) and Adrien van Beveren’s first cycling win in a successful 32 a partnd Anniversary of the event.
2023 edition of Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge passes 81 out of 190 districts International The media rights agreement is the result of a joint effort between the rally’s organizer, the Emirates Motor Sports Organization (EMSO), and the event’s global promoter, the Amaury Sports Organization (ASO). In addition, 74 professional journalists from 26 media outlets from 20 different countries were present during the competition.
68 broadcasters took part in the final show and social media saw the clip of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge reach almost 450,000 accounts, in addition to the W2RC social media pages with 110,000 followers.
Overdrive Racing’s Rajhi, who was runner-up in Abu Dhabi in 2016, has his name on the Desert Challenge winners’ list for the first time – the third for Toyota after partnering with Nasser Al-Attiyah in 2016 and 2021 victory.
Rajhi also made history by becoming the first Saudi driver to win a rally, which is now his first World Rally Championship (W2RC) victory.
In the W2RC, Sebastien Loeb extended his lead after Nasser al-Attiyah’s troubles limited Qatar’s scoring. Toyota Gazoo Racing is now 16 points behind the Frenchman and 21 ahead of third-placed Martin Prokop.
Meanwhile, after Adrien van Beveren climbed the dunes in Abu Dhabi and headed home first to seal his first ADDC victory and finish second in the W2RC standings , another Frenchman who won the Desert Challenge, finished third in the Desert Challenge just four points behind Australian driver Toby Price.
The event attracted entries from all bike factory teams. Red Bull Factory cycling team GASGAS had to withdraw on the eve of the race after their lead rider and last year’s ADDC winner Sam Sunderland was injured in training. The depot teams also performed well. The event partner Toyota had the largest number of exhibitors, and many new teams including BAIC Aowei entered the event for the first time.
Nasser Mohammed Al Mansouri, Undersecretary of the Court of Representatives of Al Dhafrah Regional Rulers, commented: “The 32nd edition of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge was a major victory for the Al Dhafrah region and Abu Dhabi.
I would also like to express my sincerest thanks to the event organizers, EMSO, who are at the heart of the event with the support of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council. The collective effort and excellent coordination of all this passion and energy has resulted in a truly world-class event of which we can all be immensely proud. “
Aref Hamad Al-Awani, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, commended the pioneering role of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the ruler’s representative in the al Dhafrah region, and his generous sponsorship of the 32nd Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge. The event is an extension of Abu Dhabi’s ambitions to host international elite sporting events and is seen as the perfect destination for the world’s best athletes and drivers. “
Abu Dhabi Sports Council Secretary General said: “As the 32nd edition of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge comes to a successful conclusion, we express our gratitude and appreciation to all those who have contributed to its extraordinary success. This is a truly prestigious event This has won the admiration and appreciation of everyone and has been widely praised on many levels.”
he added: “Once again, Abu Dhabi is proving to be an incubator for global, international and regional championships and a major venue for a growing number of sports to attract the world’s elite stars. We are already looking forward to being involved in supporting and organizing the next event in Abu Dhabi The Desert Challenge, which has become an integral part of Abu Dhabi’s annual sporting programme.”
EMSO Chairman Khalid Ben Sulayem said: “It’s clear that sports fans are getting more and more aware of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, and at the same time we realize that this event is something people dream about – whether as participants, race administrators or spectators.
“We’re excited to be at the center of an event that people want to be a part of and dream about, and we look forward to hosting the event next year and welcoming even more contestants and even more fans.”
As an energy partner, Adnoc distribution provided Super 98 premium fuel, designed for advanced care and efficiency in demanding environments, which played a vital role in propelling the race across breathtaking desert landscapes, Rajhi and Van Beveren stand out.
The quality of the competitors is a testament to how seriously the sport’s biggest names take the event. This year’s T1, T3 and T4 categories added to the rally’s prestige, attracting 51 teams from 33 countries, while in the three cycling categories 58 competitors from 28 countries confirmed that ADDC is A truly global phenomenon.
Rajhi, who was sixth in the fifth and final stage ahead of Prokop, won the ADDC in 12:31 and 30:25 on the T3 of Seth Quintero of the Czech Republic, representing Red Bull Off’s T3 Road Jr Team joined the T1 competitors on the podium.
Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi, winner of the 2017 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, finished a respectable sixth overall, while in the T4 2015 ADDC T2, winner Mansour Al-Helei scored an impressive final day Runner-up after an impressive win.
Only five quad riders have entered the W2RC at this year’s Desert Challenge, with Abdulaziz Ahli leading the way with a hat-trick of wins to win the last two desert editions this year Champion of the challenge.
Al-Attiyah leaves Abu Dhabi with nothing after late stage 3 exit championship View. Despite the setback in Stage 1, Loeb has extended his lead over the Toyota driver in the standings. Most importantly, Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Martin ProkopADDC’s post meant they reconnected with both leaders.
In the bike category at the W2RC, Toby Price did well, ahead of Adrien Van Beveren in the overall category. Dakar Rally champion Kevin Benavides, who retired last week due to injury, was also the leader ahead of ADDC, dropping to 3rd.
The second round of the title race was even more intense, reviving the tension in the standings. The next round will be held in Mexico at the end of April.
The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is held under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Representative Court of Rulers of the Al Dhafra Region; presented by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council; with the support of this year’s Energy Partner Adnoc Distribution; Automotive Partner Al-Futtaim Toyota; Abu Dhabi Airways; Al Ain Water; Ministry of Defense and UAE Armed Forces, Abu Dhabi Police, Civil Defence, Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, Al Dhafra Regional Municipality Government support with our media partner Abu Dhabi Sports Television.