Ahmad Al Maqoodi powered his way to a convincing victory in the Emirates Desert Championship as the national Baja rally series continued its record-breaking course this season.
With Andrey Cherednikov taking second place ahead of Chris Jackson’s Can AM buggy, first round winner Ahmed Al Fahim had to settle for eighth place in the Margham desert, although he still retained his overall lead in the cars title race.
British rider Jake Shipton stole the show in the bikes series, beating Kuwaiti rider Mohammed Jaffar over eight laps. Emirati Mohammed Al Balooshi remained on top of the overall standings despite finishing in third place.
It was another landmark day for the Desert Championship, attracting an impressive 135 drivers and riders to shatter the previous best of 100 competitors from the first round three weeks ago.
“We have a lot of quality in the championship now, and 135 competitors is a big number,” said ATCUAE and EMSF President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
“The signs are that the number of entries will continue to grow, but our priority will always be on safety so we may have to restrict entries at some stage in the future.”
Former Polish bikes star Marek Dabrowski took fourth place overall in the cars.
One of today’s brightest stars on two wheels, Sam Sunderland, went out when he crashed into a dune on the seventh lap while leading from close friend and training partner Shipton who went on to win.
Finishing third in the quads division behind fellow-Emirati Mohammed Al Shamsi and Alex MacFarlane, the UAE’s Humaid Al Mashghouni retained his overall championship lead.
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