Al Zubair, Al Raisi ready to hit back in Aragon Cross Country Baja
July 23, 2019 | 7:24 PM
by Agencies
As the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas heads to Spain, Al Zubair and Al Raisi are more determined than ever to mount a consistent challenge for a podium return. - Supplied photo

Muscat: Front-running FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas competitors Abdullah Al Zubair and Faisal Al Raisi head back to Europe this week for the fourth round of the season in Aragon, Spain, an event where the AZ Racing duo are determined to battle for an overdue return to the T3 class podium.

Starting this coming Friday, 26th July, the Aragon Baja will provide a major test for competitors with rocky terrain, dusty roads and a variety of intense challenges standing between the Omani pairing and some much-deserved silverware.

Thus far in 2019, Al Zubair and Al Raisi have certainly experienced the highs and lows so often associated with motorsport. Starting off the Cross Country Baja season very successfully with a second place T3 finish in the snowy forests of Russia, a series of mechanical maladies then pegged back Al Zubair and Nasser Al Kuwari – who stood-in for Al Raisi – to sixth place in round two in Dubai.

Italy was the destination for the third Baja of the campaign last month and misfortune once again befell the AZ Racing squad. With Al Raisi back alongside in the co-driver’s seat, the duo had to settle for seventh position in T3 when a broken steering arm on the final stage ended their podium bid.

Now, as the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas heads to Spain, Al Zubair and Al Raisi are more determined than ever to mount a consistent challenge for a podium return and hope their trusty South Racing fettled Can-Am Maverick X3 will be as bullet-proof as possible.

Following pre-event technical checks on Thursday, 25th July, at rally headquarters in the commercial centre of Teruel, north west of Valencia, the opening two stages of the Aragon Baja will take place on Friday – the first covering a distance of 170 kilometres and the second run over 80 kilometres.

On Saturday, 27th July, stages three and four, both 80 kilometres long, will provide the final action of the Baja with the closing ceremony, which brings the curtain down on the first half of the FIA World Cup for Cross Country Bajas season, expected to commence around 16.30 (local time).

“We’re very excited to be back in Spain, Baja Aragon last year was amazing and I’m sure this year it won’t be any different. We have had a turbulent season so far without the results we had hoped for, but everyone at AZ Racing is working as hard as ever so we go into this rally with high hopes as usual for a strong result,” said Abdullah Al Zubair.

“Baja Aragon is where me and Abdullah kick-started our international rally experience last year. We proved our pace then in the final stages and hope to do better this year. It’s a fast rally, and the competition is one of the fiercest, but we will be ready and determined to do the very best we can,” added Al Faisal Al Raisi.

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