Qatar's Abu Issa going great guns at Dakar 2017
10 Jan 2017 - 20:34
Mohamed Abu Issa, Qatar’s Quad bike champion and Dakar contender for three successive editions is taking on the world’s most gruelling race behind the wheel of X-Raid Mini, capably confirming his versatility as a racing champion.
This is Abu Issa’s fourth appearance at Dakar, and his first in the car category.
Unafraid and unbowed by the famously unforgiving 15 day long race, Abu Issa acknowledges that Dakar 2017 has united the world’s toughest rally-raid traditions with physical challenges, designed to push drivers into the world of extreme endurance.
Despite this, Mohamed Abu Issa and his Co-Driver Xavier Panseri currently occupy a strong overall position in 12th place from among 64 cars by the end of stage 7, ascending from the initial 23rd position at Stage1 of the rally with a total of 93 cars in the competition.
Commenting on representing, Qatar and his progress in the race so far, Abu Issa said, “As always it is an incredible honour to represent my country Qatar and I am proud to be racing under our flag! While I am pleased with the overall position we hold at the moment, my ultimate focus is on achieving our race target. We set out with a goal of finishing within the Top 15 and we are continuing to reach for that. We have made it through the first half of the race but we still have some critical days ahead of us”.
Abu Issa is being supported in his quest by the highly experienced X-Raid race team. Commenting on the team’s strength he said: "The X-Raid team chases the Dakar challenge at a whole different level. They have years of experience and expert knowledge in every conceivable area, from mechanics, technical aspects, to intricate knowledge of the terrain. This wealth of knowledge is priceless and I feel very fortunate to have their support. They are advanced, well established and world class professionals”.
For the first time in its history, the Dakar rally kicked off from Paraguay on the January 2 and races through Argentina and Bolivia prior to its conclusion on January 14.
The route this year consists of 15 stages, covering a distance of 8,500 kilometres of truly punishing terrain. An extended passage across rough terrain in extreme South American summer temperatures charted a course for the drivers through the dunes of the Bolivian highlands.
The unpredictability of the rally saw some stages of the rally cancelled out due to torrential rain, instantly pushing teams, to adapt while continuing to follow their game plans.
A considerable number of drivers and riders have been forced to withdraw due to bad weather and the daunting trials that have confronted them.
However, Abu Issa and Xavier continue their quest, daringly defying the evolving challenges of what is fittingly recognized as the world’s toughest race.