Killian Duffy and Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari were fastest on eight of the 10 stages and took a commanding lead of over 10 minutes into Saturday’s final leg of the WRC 2 category of Rally Argentina. With such an advantage over the rest of the field, the biggest challenge facing the pair was avoiding the hazards that had caught out so many of their WRC 2 rivals.
“We have a good gap so there is no need to push, instead we have to keep our concentration,” said Al-Kuwari, at the start of 23Km Mina Clavero stage, on the last morning of the four day rally. And they did just that. Killian kept things under control from the co-drivers seat of the Seashore Qatar Rally, Team Ford Fiesta. The pace notes rolled faultlessly of his tongue, guiding the pair through a string of long and demanding stages, until the last stage. All was not well with the handling of the Fiesta, and what the pair initially felt was a puncture turned out to be a broken rear cross member. They gave away some of their advantage with a cautious approach through the rocky repeat of El Condor to take the win from Peruvian driver Nicolas Fuchs by over 13 minutes.
“I’m very happy,” said a relieved Al-Kuwari. “It’s our second WRC 2 win of the year and we are now leading the championships for drivers, teams and co-drivers.” On the back of their current good form, and with their plane tickets already booked for the upcoming Acropolis Rally in Greece on the first weekend of June, the Qatari and Irish pairing have raised more than a few eyebrows in the competitive world of international rallying.