JORDAN: Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah, partnered by Italian co-driver Giovanni Bernacchini, secured a hard-earned sixth victory in the Jordan Rally, the fourth round of the 2012 FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC), which finished at the Dead Sea on Saturday.
Attiyah claimed his 43rd MERC career success but he was pressured all day by the Lebanese duo of Roger Feghali and Joseph Matar.
A 10-second penalty for a jump-start cost the 10-time Lebanon Rally winner dearly and he settled for second position after winning five of the 16 special stages.
Attiyah’s winning margin was 34.7 seconds and the triumph also marked Bernacchini’s 14th MERC victory and his second in Jordan.
The UAE’s Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi used the event as a shakedown before a full programme of events in 2013. The Emirati managed to finish fifth with British co-driver Marshall Clarke and had no recurring problems after recent leg and knee surgery.