Khalid al-Qassimi

Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi was born in Abu Dhabi in the year 1976. From an extremely affluent family, Qassimi had the advantage of being able to use his own cars for Rallying.

His first contact with the sport came in a local desert rally where he drove a Land Rover Discovery. He participated in many such event in his career up until 2002, when he decided to participate in a full season’s programme of the Middle East Rally Championships. His experience from all the local rallies helped him win the Middle East Rally Championships in the Group N Cup, in his very first attempt. Not just that, Qassimi also won United Arab Emirates Rally Championship, in the same season.

In 2004, after a small break of sorts, the Sheikh came back to win the complete Middle East Rally Championships’ title. He also made his debut in the World Rally Championships in the same year, finishing fourth in the Group N category in Greece.

The following two seasons, his Middle East rallies didn’t end as well as he would have liked but second place in 2005 and third in 2006 were, by no means, bad results. Meanwhile, on the World Rally Championship’s stages, he competed in several rounds in the Group N category including a drive in the Quasys P-WRC team, in Cyprus in 2006. Khalid came in at number 3 in the Production Car World Rally Championship series.

In 2007, Khalid had dreams of a full season at the World Rally Championship level but unfortunately for him, the programme that he had joined with MMSP, in a bid to race with the Mitsubishi Lancer World Rally Car, had collapsed. He was left stranded until, in the second half of the season, Ford picked up the programme from where Mitsubishi had left it. Khalid had to drive for entry and he ensured that in each race, he was classified as a finisher.

2008 will be a better year for him, for sure, as he is now a part of the re-named BP-Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team. The team has given him the opportunity to participate in 10 rounds of the programme, in 2008. Time will be the best judge to determine whether the man from Abu Dhabi will be able to live up to his potential or not.

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