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Having finished on the Qatar International Rally podium four times in the last few seasons, including two times in the DS 3 RRC in 2013 and 2014, Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi has a great deal of experience in dealing with the specific features of the opening round of the Middle East Rally Championship.

Featuring thirteen special stages and 263.27 kilometres of timed sections, this event is contested on rock-strewn roads, which can be particularly hard on the cars and tyres.

“Our team is well-prepared for the Qatar International Rally,” commented Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi. “Our aim is to be as competitive as possible. The roads are very rough with a lot of rocks. We’ll have to look after our tyres and try to avoid getting any punctures.”

The ceremonial start is due to take place on Thursday evening on the Doha Corniche, before the crews complete a 2.27-kilometre tarmac stage. On Friday, the crews will tackle a loop of three timed stages, each run twice, over a distance of 135 kilometres. Three other stages, which are more technical and which will also be contested two times, are scheduled on Saturday. The rally is expected to finish at Aqua Park from 2.00pm.

The DS3 R3s entered by Abu Dhabi Racing in the young driver development programme will begin their season next month, at the Kuwait Rally.

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