JORDAN - Qatar M-Sport’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini continued their dominant campaign in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) as they piloted their Ford Fiesta Regional Rally Car to a convincing victory at the 2013 Jordan Rally.
Nestled in the confines of the region’s world-famous Dead Sea resort, this year’s Jordan Rally was billed as one of the most challenging to date, but that was not to faze the eight-time MERC champion. Despite running first on the road, the Qatari’s Fiesta RRC posted the fastest time on 11 of the event’s 16 stages.
In fact M-Sport’s regional rally car secured all 16 stage victories on the event. Lebanese driver Roger Feghali and co-driver Joseph Matar claimed the fastest time on the remaining five speed tests to take second place overall – securing a one-two finish for M-Sport’s Fiestas.
Leading the event from start to finish, Al-Attiyah’s victory marked his seventh in Jordan and 48th in the regional series. Last weekend’s victory – secured by a margin of almost two minutes – was also the Qatari’s third successive win in the Middle Eastern series. Indeed Al-Attiyah has taken maximum points from all three rounds so far this season and is well on his way to securing a record-breaking ninth MERC title.
“I am really very happy to win this event,” said Al-Attiyah. “This was never going to be an easy rally and, as predicted, it was the toughest event in the championship. But the team did a fantastic job and we were able to lead from the first stage until the last – a great result for Qatar and for M-Sport.
“Now I have three wins from three rallies and 75 points. The target at the start of the year was to take the championship, but now I would like to win every rally this season – the grand slam!”