The Abu Dhabi World Rally Team will field three crews as they head off this weekend for Rally Finland.
In the last rally before the summer break, the Abu Dhabi WRT will be fielding three crews on the event commonly known as the ‘Rally of a Thousand Lakes’.
Competing in Rally Finland for the Abu Dhabi team will be Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle, Craig Breen/Scott Martin and Khalid Al Qassimi/Chris Patterson, all ready to tackle the ultra-fast stages in Jyväskylä in their DS3’s.
Despite being absent from Sardinia and Poland, Meeke will be raring to go in Finland with his best position of third place in 2014. Meanwhile, Breen and Martin will be looking to draw on their recent experience with this being their seventh appearance at Rally Finland.
While Al Quassimi is also returning to the WRC after Portugal in which the Abu Dhabi driver will make his seventh appearance with his best finish of ninth place in 2009.
Meeke said about Rally Finland “Finland is a unique moment in the WRC season. I have excellent memories here, such as my first race with Citroën Racing in 2013 and my podium finish the year after.
“Every year, I take pleasure, above all, in driving on the most amazing routes in the world. I’m not competing in every race this season, but I was determined that Finland should be part of my programme. It’s a rally that often comes down to just a few tenths of a second and it will provide a good opportunity for me to work on my turn of speed. I won in Portugal, but I don’t have any particular goals. I’ll be doing my best to learn, understand and enjoy myself at the wheel.”
Breen spoke about being better-prepared for Rally Finland this year. “I feel much better prepared for this race than for my first two rallies with Abu Dhabi Total WRT! I’m going to be able to draw on my experience from a month ago and my aim will be to pick up where I left off at the end of Rally Poland.
“For this rally to be a success for me, I’ll have to produce a consistent race, without making any mistakes, and attacking a little harder when I feel able. I’m familiar with Rally Finland as I’ve already taken part six times. Two years ago, I was at the wheel of a WRC, but in a totally different context, with my dad working on the car and my mum doing the catering! That family effort has got me here and I fully intend to take this new opportunity.”
Al Quassimi added “I can’t wait to be back in Finland. It’s a really special event for the WRC. The course is known for being fast and for its high-speed jumps. We will be able to draw on our experience from last year, but more than half of the special stages are new and we will have to be focused from reconnaissance on to make sure we take good notes.
“It will be important to feel good at the wheel again, particularly after such a long break since Portugal. You need a lot of commitment for this rally and we will be working hard to gradually get to grips with the car. I hope we will enjoy ourselves and that Kris and Craig will do the Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team proud.”