THE UAE’s Shaikh Khalid Al Qassimi, who finished fourth at the Qatar Cross-Country Rally, is undecided about his future in the championship.
Driving a Peugeot 3008 DKR, Al Qassimi was the surprise winner in the last round in Abu Dhabi.
Though the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies has 11 rounds, Al Qassimi, relatively new to endurance racing, had registered only for the Middle East legs in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar.
But he surprised all with a second place in Dubai and the win in Abu Dhabi. Now, a decent fourth-place finish in Qatar has helped him stay in the spotlight.
“The learning curve continues for me. The important thing is I finished this rally. I need to learn a lot more in this kind of rally and gain a lot more experience. It isn’t easy. If you put me back on the stage, I’ll get lost again,” Al Qassimi said in a lighter vein.
The Peugeot 3008 DKR, which Al Qassimi is driving, had a 1-2-3 finish at the Dakar Rally in January. The 45-year-old, who is more of a World Rally Championship regular, had also competed in Dakar, but retired.
“I’m still new to cross-country rallies so every kilometre that is covered will help in the development of my career in this format of racing.
“That’s why I’m now challenging myself to improve my performance in desert rallies. I’m following a specific strategy that could take four years before we start competing for top positions,” he added.
Though there is a gap of one month ahead of the next FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies round in Kazakhstan, Al Qassimi remained tight-lipped about his future in the series.
“I’m not sure yet about the rest of the season. I also have WRC commitments. I’ll think about it,” he said.