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Nasser Al Attiyah made the competition debut of the Fiesta R5 Evo 2 and was fastest on every stage at the MERC Jordan Rally, winning by over 16 minutes, some four seconds a kilometre ahead of the Mitsubishi opposition.   

HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein flags Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah from start of Jordan Rally.After Khalid Al Suwaidi failed to start (due to administrative problems regarding his new car) Al Attiyah was the only R5 driver on the event, frustrating his anxiety to discover how much faster the new car was.  

“I tried to go flat out on one stage to see if I could beat the time I set in the stage last year in the Skoda, but I had the same time to the second,” he reported.  

Nine cars were eventually allowed to start the MERC category of the event, but only after official warnings to seven crews concerning non-compliance with new safety regulations.  Five crews finished.
1. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Matthieu Baumel (FRA) Ford Fiesta R5 Evo2, 2hr 56min 37.0sec
2. Marouf Abu Samra (JOR)/Malek Hariri (JOR) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, 3hr 12min 46.3sec
3. Meshari Al-Thefiri (KWT)/Nasser Al-Kuwari (QAT) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, 3hr 17min 15.0sec
4. Ihab Al-Shorafa (JOR)/Yousef Juma (JOR) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, 3hr 46min 58.9sec
5. Asem Aref (JOR)/Musa Djiyerian (JOR) Renault Clio, 4hr 27min 46.7sec                
FIA Middle East Rally Championship – positions after round 2 (unofficial):
1. Meshari Al-Thefiri (KWT) 53pts, 2. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QAT)  46pts, 3. Rashid Al-Naimi (QAT)  37pts, 4. Marouf Abu Samra (JOR)   30pts  etc.

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Last weekend, former Hyundai driver, Kevin Abbring, scored his first win with his new Peugeot importers’ team when he won the Rallye de Wallonie in Belgium in a 208 T16 R5.

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Good and bad for Hyundai at the opening TER round, the Transilvania Rally based at Cluj in Romania.  

Winner was Giandomenico Basso who led all the way except on the second stage when he had a jump start penalty.  

Frightening was a heavy crash for Chewon Lim which hospitalised the Korean driver.

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Mads Østberg won the national Norwegian championship Rally Sorland in an Adapta team Fiesta R5, beating the similar car of Anders Grøndal, while third was Ole Christian Veiby in a Skoda Fabia R5

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Latest news from Italy says that former Lancia rally and Ferrari team manager, Cesare Fiorio, continues to be in intensive care after his cycling accident.

- Martin Holmes            

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