Co-driven by Giovanni Bernacchini, Al-Attiyah, who only needed a top-five finish to seal the deal in his Ford Fiesta RRC, was never headed, claiming his sixth win in Dubai by a margin of more than three and a half minutes over Abdullah Al-Qassimi. He snatched second spot when Al-Attiyah’s title rival, Abdulaziz Alkuwari, retired his MINI John Cooper Works S2000 on the final stage with an alternator glitch.
“It feels really great to win here again in Dubai and take the overall Middle East championship crown,” said Al-Attiyah, who will contest seven rounds of the 2013 FIA World Rally Championship with the Qatar M-Sport World Rally Team. “I always love racing here and it’s a great way to end the season.”
Khalid Al-Qassimi, who will return to the WRC in 2013 in a factory Citroen, retired on the rain-hit first day when he suffered two punctures on the same stage. But the Abu Dhabi driver restarted on day two and managed to outpace Al-Attiyah on one stage alongside new co-driver Scott Martin.