Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi - Chris Patterson
Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi’s first experiences in motorsport were behind the wheel of 4WD cars during rallies organised in the Emirati desert. His rallying career really began in 2002, when he completed his first full season in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC). He won the Group N title, and the United Arab Emirates Championship in the same year.
The following season, Sheikh Khalid added another three Group N wins to his record, enabling him to successfully defend his national title. However, the year ended on a sour note, an injury keeping him out of action for several months. On his return to competition in 2004, he won the MERC title in a Subaru Impreza WRX, winning two rallies in Bahrain and Syria.
Between 2004 and 2006, Sheikh Khalid pursued his career in the MERC (runner-up in 2005 and third in 2006) whilst also competing in the P-WRC . He then began competing in the sport’s top flight category with the Ford Abu Dhabi WRT in the second half of the 2007 season. He contested around forty rallies with the team, driving a Fiesta WRC. Fifth place at the 2011 Rally Australia remains his best result.
After taking a break from rallying in 2012, he was heavily involved in establishing the partnership between Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Racing and Citroën Racing. The 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons saw him compete in a number of WRC events and the MERC. He has finished as runner-up in the Middle East Rally Championship on three occasions.
Sheikh Khalid has been working with co-driver Chris Patterson since 2014. A co-driver for thirty or so years, the experienced Briton has worked with the likes of Petter Solberg and Kris Meeke.
After winning the 2015 Dubai Rally, Sheikh Khalid decided to take a break from competing in the MERC. In 2016, he competed in four rounds of the WRC whilst also keeping a close eye on the performances of Kris Meeke, Craig Breen and Stéphane Lefebvre in the Abu Dhabi Total WRT. As well as continuing to compete in cross-country rallying, Sheikh Khalid will be taking part in a selection of WRC events in the C3 WRC.
SHEIKH KHALID AL QASSIMI IN FIGURES
- Date and place of birth: 18 February 1972 in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates)
- Competitive debut: 2001
- First WRC rally: 2004 Acropolis Rally
- Number of WRC starts: 65
- Best result in the WRC: 5th (Australia in 2011)
CHRIS PATTERSON IN FIGURES
- Date and place of birth: 6 September 1968
- Competitive debut: 1989
- First WRC rally: 1993 Wales Rally GB
- Number of WRC starts: 128
- Best result in the WRC: 2nd (Japan, Spain and GB in 2010)