Rallye du Maroc 2019: Electrical woes in Moroccan Desert Peg-Back impressive recovery from Oman's AZ Racing

Rallye du Maroc 2019: Electrical woes in Moroccan Desert Peg-Back impressive recovery from Oman's AZ Racing

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Finale of Cross Country Rally World Cup ends with AZ Racing P9 in T3 
Excellent mid-rally fightback hampered by Day Four electrical problem
Abdullah Al Zubair & Faisal Al Raisi still showcase class podium pace 
Portugal next for last Baja of rollercoaster FIA season for Omani pair

Electrical woes on the penultimate day of the Rallye du Maroc this week, the final round of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup season, cruelly halted a fantastic mid-event fightback from Oman’s Abdullah Al Zubair and Faisal Al Raisi – the duo ultimately ending the rally ninth in the T3 class. 
Arriving in Morocco prior to last weekend confidently aiming to challenge for a T3 podium at the very least, the AZ Racing team-mates’ hopes were dealt an unrecoverable blow on the very first stage on Saturday, 5th October, when an engine issue cost two full hours.
Undeterred, and mounting a magnificent recovery over the next couple of days, by the end of the third stage on Monday, 7th October, the Oman Automobile Association supported Can-Am Maverick T3 had risen from the tail of the field to seventh in class and inside the overall top 20.
On Tuesday, 8th October, Al Zubair and Al Raisi continued to fly through the intense and highly challenging North African desert and duly climbed into an impressive fifth in T3 as they scythed through the overall order too.
Incredibly though, with just 80 kilometres of the day four stage left to run, the AZ Racing entry ground to a halt with electrical problems and the bitter blow meant the Omanis had to incur a hefty time penalty.
Returning to action at the beginning of the fifth and final stage on Wednesday, 9th October, Al Zubair and Al Raisi were determined to again showcase their true front-running T3 pace and ended the run ninth in class and 24th overall.
In terms of the outright result for the Rallye du Maroc, following post-event judicial decisions involving other entries, AZ Racing ended the event ninth in the T3 class and a strong 20th overall despite incurring no less than 13 hours of penalties due to the engine problem and electrical dramas.

Abdullah Al Zubair: “We are very happy to have completed the Moroccan Rally, it was a very tough and very, very long event with different terrains. The whole event was 2,400 kilometres long approximately, making it a major challenge and with some very tough competition as well – the best cross country rally drivers and navigators in the world. I think we did very well for our first time on this event. As always, a big thank you to the South Racing crew who did a great job throughout the rally.”

Faisal Al Raisi: “We’re very proud to have finished the Moroccan Rally, it was the toughest navigational experience of my career so far. To come through it, especially with the problems we had along the way which cost us a lot of time, is what counts and I think we can be happy with our performance. We will go on to use this experience of such a tough and competitive rally for our future.”

Next for AZ Racing is the final rally of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas season, round eight, which will start in Portugal on Thursday, 24th October, and conclude on Saturday, 26th October.


FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup – Rd5 Rally of Morocco T3 Class Result:
1st Monster Energy Can-Am Maverick X3: 20hrs39m35s
(Reinaldo Marques Varela/Gustavo Souza Gugelmin)
2nd Snag Proto: 20hrs41m07s
(Sergei Kariakin/Anton Vlasiuk)
3rd Can-Am Maverick X3: 20hrs49m00s
(Aleksandr Dorosinskiy/Oleg Uperenko)
9th AZ Racing – Can-Am Maverick X3: 42hrs50m15s
(Abdullah Al Zubair/Faisal Al Raisi)

Source AZ Racing's official press release

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