Marc Coma, Winner of Round 1 Abu Dhabi Rally, Ready for Round 2 Qatar Rally Debut
Marc Coma placed third in Tuesday’s prologue for the Sealine Cross-Country Rally, held near the Losail International Circuit. The second event of the Cross-Country Rallies World Championship begins tomorrow in Qatar, and today’s prologue served to define the starting order for Stage One. An extremely short special stage, Marc Coma placed third and will get third pick for his starting position tomorrow. The rules of the Sealine Cross-Country Rally allow the fastest riders in the prologue the opportunity to choose their starting spot in the first stage proper.
Coma completed the 4.2km timed section in a time of 2’47.2, just 1.3 seconds off fastest rider Joan Barreda and 8 tenths slower than Hélder Rodrigues. As a result, the MRW rider will be the third man to choose his starting place, looking to take on the challenge from further back in order to catch up with those in front —as he did in Abu Dhabi at the opening event.
The first stage will see Coma taking on 330km of timed terrain, as part of the more than 1200km race that will conclude on Saturday in the deserts of Qatar. Said Coma, “I am happy with how the day went. It was a short stage on the beach which even had a few dunes with which to contend, but it wasn’t too tough and serves as a warmup for the race. The rules state that whoever wins gets to pick their starting position first, so we tried to push hard instead of stopping for a breather. That had been the strategy in Abu Dhabi, where we slowed down to get a position further down the field. We have to finish deciding which position is best for us tomorrow, but we are likely to go for a later spot in order to give chase to the early starters.”
Stay tuned for more news from the Qatar Rally.