The Skydive Dubai Rally Team duo of Rashid Al Ketbi and Khalid Al Kendi will be aiming to build upon their strong finish in last month’s Tour of Corsica, when they tackle this weekend’s Targa Florio-Rally Internazionale di Sicilia.
The Emirati duo are tacking select rounds of this year’s Intercontinental Rally Challenge (IRC) in their Skoda Fabia S2000 under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council.
They climbed back to finish 22nd overall in the challenging Corsican event after earlier delays and are confident of sealing a much higher finish this weekend.
“We flew to Italy on Sunday and our goal there is to be as fast as possible and try to get into the top 10 for our sponsor Skydive Dubai,” said a determined Al Ketbi.
“We also have to be mindful that we cannot take any risks with the car, because we will also take part in a rally in Belgium at the end of the month and there will be no time to make major repairs if we have a problem.
“We will have a different set-up in Italy. It is a much faster rally than Corsica and we won’t have the very twisty roads that make the event in Corsica so infamous.”
Sicilian event organisers have announced that all six IRC manufacturers and drivers from 12 nations will compete in Sicily’s premier motor sport event.
Twelve S2000 cars grace the entry list, of which 11 are eligible for IRC points. Norwegian Andreas Mikkelsen currently holds a 13-point lead in the IRC Drivers’ Championship from Czech driver Jan Kopecky.
The 96th Targa Florio is based at Campofelice Di Roccella, east of the capital Palermo, and begins with a 1.65km super special stage in Palermo on Thursday.
The on-stage action continues throughout Friday and Saturday with three stages repeated on Friday and a further two timed tests repeated once on Saturday. The 11-stage event finishes with a podium ceremony on Saturday afternoon.