ROL A FULL 2016
THE 39TH RALLY OF LEBANON SUMMARY BY KHALED KARAM – BISER3A.
The 39th Rally of Lebanon summary.
7th September 2016
It ain’t over until the fat lady sings, a proverb that perfectly embodies the 39th Rally of Lebanon which wasn’t decided until a few hours after it had ended. However, the results are still provisional up until now, which means the rally hasn’t ended yet.
The 2016 Rally of Lebanon kicked off to a great start on Friday’s super special stage at the RPM Circuit with Nasser Al-Attiyah beating Abdo Feghali by half a second, setting us up for an interesting battle for the weekend.
However, there wasn’t much of a fight when the real racing began on Saturday as Abdo Feghali put in an inspiring performance alongside Marc Haddad to end the day with 6 wins in 6 stages and a comfortable 1 minute 21-second lead over Al-Attiyah. Roger Feghali – who was our only hope of a battle with Nasser – had to retire from 2nd place overall with mechanical issues.
In Group N, the main contenders Eddy Abou Karam, Rodolphe Asmar and Rabih Ayoub ran into mechanical trouble, leaving Rodrigue Rahi with a 2-minute lead.
Bassel Abou Hamdan ended the day 24 seconds ahead of Henry Massaad, while gearbox issues for Robert Aaraj robbed us of a three-way fight for the RC3 class lead.
Sunday came and along with it the drama: two punctures for Abdo Feghali and a puncture for Nasser Al-Attiyah in the opening stage in Zandouka. The Lebanese driver was able to continue after he had lost 3 minutes and 30 seconds, while the Qatari decided to retire from the rally.
Despite the valuable time lost, Abdo was able to complete the day’s 4 special stages and finish the event 1 minute 51 second ahead of second-placed Tamer Ghandour, who was one of the few drivers to have a trouble-free race. With Roger and Nasser’s retirement, Rodrigue Rahi found himself on the final podium place with 3rd overall.
Bassel Abou Hamdan remained uncatchable on Sunday to clinch the RC3 class win along with the championship title in that category. Similarly, Patrick Njeim and Matthias Njeim won in RC4 and RC5 respectively and secured the titles in those categories.
The 39th Rally of Lebanon was supposed to end there, but it didn’t. During the podium ceremony on Sunday afternoon, Tamer Ghandour was announced the winner after a 5-minute time penalty was imposed on Abdo Feghali for driving on a wheel rim in a road section, which dropped him to 3rd place and elevated Ghandour and Rahi to 1st and 2nd places.
The drama continued a few of hours later, with the ATCL announcing the exclusion of Rodrigue Rahi for having illegal shock absorbers on his car, which further shook up the final classification.
As it stands, the provisional results are as follows: Tamer Ghandour is the winner, Abdo Feghali moves up to 2nd place following Rodrigue Rahi’s exclusion and Eddy Abou Karam – who was crowned Group N champion on Saturday – is 3rd overall and the winner in Group N.
All The Best, Pablito, Pablo MACHI WRC
Rally Report Magazine Argentina
Photos: By Biser3a / Lebanon
Categories: Rally Report Magazine 16 Años