Adel Abdulla and MMP team stage gritty comeback
Qatari driver helps MMP team overcome early setbacks in 24h Tout Terrain de France.
A gritty fightback saw Qatar’s Adel Abdulla and teammates Matthieu Serradori and Benjamin and Cédric Bujon claw their way back from the back of the field to finish a creditable 12th in the 24H Tout Terrain de France race at the Circuit de Fontaine-Fourches on Sunday.
Adel said teamwork was key to the heartening finish of the Micouleu Mécanique Précision (MMP) Rallye Raid team.
“You could feel the teamwork, especially with everyone pushing for a good result. It was fantastic. It was the first time I’ve had this kind of experience,” he said.
The MMP buggy completed 180 laps of the demanding northern French circuit and finished behind the overall winning Can-Am Maverick, operated by the French trio of Sebastien Guyette, Pascal Mercier and Maxime Fourmaux.
Adel spoke about the early setback the team faced.
“We’d a small issue during qualifying because the car developed a misfire. We lost a good position. Then, after the first five laps, our first driver was involved in an accident and we were towed back to the paddock. The team started to repair the car and we slipped back to position 72 from 75 or 76 cars”.
Adel said the team was not disheartened and gradually made up lost ground. They moved up from 63rd to 50 and the Qatari driver was then instrumental in pulling them back from 46th to 34 post-midnight.
In the wee hours of Sunday, after about 17 hours of racing, Adel and his team were still in 24th position.
Later in the morning, Adel returned to the driving seat. “It was my turn again and I pushed to take us to position 14 and our last driver moved us up even further to 12th overall and third in the category”.
Adel admitted that it was a difficult race for him.
“You need to be patient. The circuit is over 7km long. Sometimes they put the water on the roads to stop the dust and it can be unbelievably difficult to drive. It’s like driving on ice or snow – very slippery and tricky,” he said.