BURAYDAH, Saudi Arabia: Yazeed Al-Rajhi, Mohammed Al-Balooshi and Haitham Al-Tuwaijri claimed early bragging rights with the fastest times in the car, motorcycle and quad categories on the opening 3.51 km Prologue stage of Rally Qassim Toyota 2023 on Thursday afternoon.

Thirty-one cars, one truck, 12 motorcycles and six quads had earlier been flagged away from the ceremonial start at the Al-Qassim National Park-Osseilan in Buraydah by SAMF President Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal and Prince Dr. Faisal bin Misha’al bin Saud bin Abdulaziz, governor of Al-Qassim province.

The third round of the Saudi Toyota Championship is organized by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation in conjunction with the Ministry of Sport, and in alliance with Abdul Latif Jameel Motors Toyota as the official partner and strategic sponsor Saudi Investment Bank.

Partnered by Timo Gottschalk and driving a Toyota Hilux prepared by Overdrive Racing, Al-Rajhi began the defense of his Saudi Toyota Championship title with victory on the prologue stage in a time of 1 min 53 sec. That put the Riyadh driver seven seconds ahead of Toyota Gazoo Racing’s new official driver Lucas Moraes and the Argentine’s Spanish co-driver Armand Monleon and Yazeed Racing’s Saleh Alabdulali and his co-driver Mohammed Al-Naim in a third Toyota.

Moraes said: “This is the last rally for me before Dakar. I’m looking forward to it. Full attack from the start.”

Dark Horse Team Can-Am Maverick X3 driver Saleh Al-Saif was the quickest of the T3 entrants in the class for lightweight prototype machines and held fourth overall. He beat Yasir Seaidan by one second, while 11th-placed Ahmed Al-Shegawi was quickest of the five runners in the T4 category in his Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo RR.

Ibrahim Al-Muhanna teamed up with Faisal Al-Suwayh and Raed Abu Theeb to tackle the event in the only T5 Mercedes truck.

Recently crowned FIM Bajas World Cup champion Mohammed Al-Balooshi snatched the advantage in the motorcycle category on his KTM. The Emirati clocked a time of 2 min 18 sec to beat Anas Al-Rahyani by two seconds. Qatar-based Martin Chalmers finished third.

FIA Bajas World Cup regular Haitham Al-Tuwaijri rode his customary Yamaha strongly to beat Qatar-based Emiel Stuckens by 15 seconds in the quad category.

Friday’s action is centered around the Ash Shimasiyah desert stage of 186 km with the first motorcycle on track at 9:05 a.m. and the first car following at 10:35 a.m.

 

Rally Qassim Toyota 2023 — Prologue result (unofficial @ 17.55hrs):

Cars

1. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU)/Timo Gottschalk (DEU) Toyota Hilux (T1P) 1 min 53 sec

2. Lucas Moraes (ARG)/Armand Monleon (ESP) Toyota Hilux (T1P) 2 min 00 sec

3. Saleh Al-Alabdulali (SAU)/Mohammed Al-Naim (SAU) Toyota Hilux 2 min 00 sec

4. Saleh Al-Saif (SAU)/Egor Okhotnikov (FIA) Can-Am Maverick X3 (T3) 2 min 13 sec

5. Yasir Seaidan (SAU)/Michael Metge (FRA) Can-Am Maverick X3 (T3) 2 min 14 sec

6. Rashid Al-Ketbi (ARE)/Ali Mirza (ARE) Can-Am Maverick X3 (T3) 2 min 17 sec

7. Dania Akeel (SAU)/Stéphane Duplé (FRA) Can-Am Maverick X3 (T3) 2 min 20 sec

8. Al-Mashna Al-Ramali (SAU)/Mazen Al-Shammeri (SAU) Nissan 2 min 20 sec

9. Sufian Al-Omer (SAU)/Waleed Al-Shegawi (SAU) Nissan (T2) 2 min 22 sec

10. Metab Saud Al-Qnon (SAU)/Murdhi Al-Shammeri (SAU) Nissan 2 min 22 sec

11. Abdullah Al-Shegawi (SAU)/Faisal Ftyh (SAU) Can-Am Maverick XRS Turbo (T4) 2 min 24 sec

12. Khalid Al-Feraihi (SAU)/Sébastien Delaunay (FRA) Nissan 2 min 25 sec

13. Faris Al-Moshna (SAU)/Khalid Al-Bakr (SAU) Nissan 2 min 26 sec

14. Ahmed Al-Shammeri (SAU)/Hani Al-Shammeri (SAU) Nissan 2 min 26 sec

15. Hamad Al-Harbi (SAU)/Aleksandr Alekseev (FIA) Can-Am Maverick X3 (T3) 2 min 26 sec

16. Abdullah Al-Haydan (SAU)/Bader Al-Ajmi (KWT) Nissan 2 min 30 sec

17. Abdullah Al-Sanad (SAU)/Abdullatif Al-Sanad (SAU) Nissan (T2) 2 min 30 sec

18. Abdulaziz Al-Yaeesh (SAU)/Omar Al-Lahim (SAU) Nissan 2min 32 sec

T1 unless stated

Bikes

1. Mohammed Al-Balooshi (ARE) KTM 450 2 min 18 sec

2. Anass Al-Rahyani (SAU) KTM 2 min 20 sec

3. Martin Chalmers (QAT) Beta 430RR 2 min 21 sec

4. Abdulhalim Al-Mogheera (SAU) KTM 2 min 26 sec

5. Marwan Al-Rahmani (ARE) KTM 2 min 26 sec

6. Bader Al-Hamdan (SAU) Yamaha WR450 F 2 min 27 sec

7. Ehab Al-Hakeem (SAU) Yamaha WR450 F 2 min 27 sec

8. Hamdan Al-Ali (ARE) Husqvarna 2 min 32 sec

9. Ibrahim Bugla (ARE) Husqvarna 2 min 36 sec

10. Bader Al-Bader (SAU) KTM 2 min 37 sec

11. Philip Horlemann (ARE) Husqvarna 2 min 46 sec

12. Gerard Lubbinge (QAT) KTM 2 min 53 sec

Quads

1. Haitham Al-Tuwaijri (SAU) Yamaha 2 min 25 sec

2. Emiel Stuckens (QAT) Yamaha 2 min 40 sec

3. Hani Al-Noumesi (SAU) Yamaha 2 min 45 sec

4. Abdulaziz Al-Atawi (SAU) Yamaha 2 min 45 sec

5. Abdulrahman Alabdullatif (SAU) Yamaha TRXX 700 3 min 36 sec

6. Maya Tamime (TUN) Honda 5 min 41 sec

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