Going into the event second in the standings in T3 class, a promising opening leg on Friday, which concluded with the squad third in class, was ruined during next round on Saturday, by a series of mechanical woes.
Despite differential problems just metres from the start on their BRP Can-Am Maverick X3, [they had to continue with power through only two wheels], and followed by driveshaft failure before reaching one quarter distance of the 205km stage, Zubair and Kuwari still managed to salvage much-needed points.
Following the rear driveshaft failure, the car got stuck on a sand dune and while attempting to free the vehicle, it flipped onto its side. Rather than incur a costly non-finish, they crawled the car back to the finish of the rally to finish sixth in their class.
Zubair said, “We had a good start to the rally. It was the first time I had driven the Can-Am on sand. Unfortunately, we faced a lot of mechanical problems. This is a long championship and we are still second overall. We learned a lot here.”
The third round of the Baja season takes place in Italy from June 20-23. Prior to that, the duo will race in the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup round two in Abu Dhabi from March 30.
Results: 1 Jakub Przygonski/Timo Gottschalk 5hrs:15mins:10secs, 2 Khalid al Qassimi/Xavier Panseri 5:16:20, 3 Martin Prokop/Jan Tomanek 5:18:22, 22 Abdullah al Zubair/Nasser al Kuwari 29:45:37.