Due to his Olympic Games’ commitments, Nasser Al-Attiyah will be unable to take part in Rally New Zealand, the seventh round of the World Rally Championship, which is set to be held in Auckland on 21- 24 June of this year. The Qatari has chosen to entrust his Citroën DS3 WRC to the Thierry Neuville/Nicolas Gilsoul crew, who will race on behalf of the Qatar World Rally Team.
It would certainly be no understatement to say that Nasser At-Attiyah is a busy man! The Qatari simply never stops: official entrant in the WRC and a regular competitor in the Middle East Rally Championship, he also somehow finds time to take part in rally-raids and Skeet shooting competitions. Despite his unwavering commitment to the WRC, the opportunity to represent his country for the fifth consecutive Olympic Games, in one of the shooting events, was too good to turn down and so he had to miss the New Zealand round. Attached to Thierry’s human qualities and aware of his potential in the DS3 WRC, Nasser didn’t hesitate in choosing the Belgian driver to take his place for the rally in the ‘land of the long white cloud’.
“I have to complete some training sessions in preparation for the London Olympic Games, and so I can’t take part in this exceptional race,” explained Nasser. “We are official entrants in the World Championship and it is mandatory for us to compete in every round. It didn’t take much thinking time to realise who should take my place in the no.7 Citroën DS3 WRC! I trust Thierry, but most of all I want him to be able to gain as much experience from taking part in this event as possible and for it to be beneficial to him. I am equally convinced that he is more than capable of scoring points for the Qatar World Rally Team.”
“This is more than just a great opportunity, it is a real honour for me to be trusted in this way by the team,” said the Belgian driver, visibly pleased. “This event wasn’t part of our schedule and without this offer, I would never have been able to race on the legendary tracks of the Pacific coast. We will do everything in our power to defend the colours of the Qatar World Rally Team. I’d like to thank them for giving us the opportunity to experience such a great event.”