NES Logo

Cool, calm, collected: Al-Rajhi/Gottschalk secure podium result at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge

2. March 2024

Further contributions

  • Third place in the second round of the FIA World Rally Raid Championship (W2RC) for Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk
  • Saudi-Arabian-Brandenburg duo take their personal maximum points from unloved terrain
  • Calculated risk on tricky, blind dune descents pays off

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (March 2, 2024) – A clever approach to the podium: Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk secured third place in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, scoring important points in the battle for the FIA World Rally Raid Championship (W2RC). The second round of the W2RC was a tough one, with tricky dune crossings and blind, fast descents. By taking a big risk, he could have made up significantly more time over the five days of the competition plus the prologue. But Al-Rajhi and Gottschalk opted for a different strategy and were proved right. All sorts of dramas in the field caused some opponents to retire early – but the Saudi Arabian-Brandenburg duo made it safely onto the podium. Overall victory went to Nasser Al-Attiyah/Eduoard Boulanger (QAT/FRA, Prodrive) ahead of Seth Quintero/Dennis Zenz (USA/GER, Toyota).

Thanks to their podium finish, Al-Rajhi/Gottschalk improved to fifth place in the W2RC standings, level on points with Lucas Moraes/Armand Monleon (BRA/ESP, Toyota). The “Dakar” winners Carlos Sainz/Lucas Cruz (ESP/ESP, Audi) continue to lead the overall standings.


“As expected, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge was a very difficult rally with many traps to fall into. We are quite happy with third place. We deliberately slowed down here and there to make sure we scored points for the W2RC.”


“We know that we weren’t the fastest this time, but we made a conscious decision not to take too many risks. With many blind and steep dune descents, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge was really tough. The main thing for us was to score good points, which we did and are now back in a good position for the rest of the season. We know where we can improve if we want to. All in all, a top result.”


Pin It on Pinterest