Posted on January 28, 2014

Salam International Investment Ltd ( SIIL ), recognized the ranks of three honorable men for their achievements in the  annual Dakar rally; Nasser Al Attiyah, Mohamed Abu Issa,  and his team mate in the Maxxis Super B Team Sebastian Husseini. A gathering was hosted to celebrate these sportsmen at the iconic Gate Mall in the company of Mr. Issa Abdul Salam Abu Issa, Chairman and CEO of SIIL and Mr. Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Attiya, President of Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation along with other distinguished guests. The sportsmen have raised the bar high in the Rally and have succeeded in embedding Qatar’s national footprint in the world of sports.

Qatar’s awarded racer Nasser Al-Attiya continued to add to his rally car trophies by winning 3rd place for Qatar at Dakar this year. Following closely, Mohamed Abu Issa sponsored by SIIL secured 1st place in the Rookie Qualification and earned the respect of the sporting world by finishing 4th in his first ever Dakar attempt. Mohamed Abu Issa’s team mate Sebastian Husseini won 3rd place in the quad category.

The Dakar rally began on January 5, 2014 and competition ran for 14 consecutive days, traversing a distance of more than 8,700 km in three countries: Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. The Dakar Rally is renown for being one of the world’s toughest rallies, where riders compete off-road on craggy terrains and through high sand dunes – not to mention the long and elevated distances inside Bolivia, which rise to 4,000 m above sea level, throwing an extra burden on the contestants’ shoulders.

Commenting at the special event SIIL’s Deputy COO Abdulsalam Abu Issa said “ We are delighted to be honoring these sportsmen who have brought honor to Qatar. We are delighted that Mohamed has risen straightaway to capture the attention at Dakar, this being his very first bid. SIIL’s trust in the Maxxis Super B Team has been well rewarded with Sebastian’s 3rd place win and Mohamed’s 4th place victory. As always SIIL celebrates the achievements of all Qatari sportsmen and we are glad to be able to honour renown rally ace Nasser Al-Attiyah. His consistency at winning international events makes all of us proud.”

Salam International Investment LTD honours Qatar's Dakar rally Champions 3 [].jpg

Mr. Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Attiya, President of Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation said, “ We strongly believe in recognizing our champions and we are very pleased with these achievements we are celebrating here today. Our riders and drivers can always count on the unwavering commitment of QMMF. We not only focus on the talent we have but we are also seeking to attract new talent. But above all we want our winners to know we value them and we join hands with sponsors such as SIIL, who boldly come forward to develop motor sports in Qatar.”

Successive champion rally driver Nasser Al Attiya mention that he was very pleased to be present not just to celebrate his own win but also to encourage the younger generation of sportsmen, who have a whole future ahead of them.

In response to questions from the media Mohammed Abu Issa commented on the tough competition and the challenges they overcame as they rode across incredibly tough terrain. “ The competition was so fierce and the track was awfully hard, that we witness one car and two bikes burn up. In conditions like that its easy to come close to quitting. We also faced what is called the Marathon. On those two days of the marathon, we’re not allowed to come back to the camp to have our quads repaired or even get fresh clothes. We had to sleep in a camp away from the maintenance team, therefore we had to be careful while racing in order not to ruin our quads. Anyway we are glad we did well.. On the second day I got lost for a little over an hour and I had to race with flat tyres for 150 km on rocks in the mountains, then continued on a sandy road for 50 km until I reached the camp and got my quad fixed. It was tough but we made it.”

Sebastian echoed the sentiments but also focused on Mohamed Abu Issa’s sportsmanship by saying, “ I participated last year in this rally, but this year I was competing to win. The first 4 to 5 days were too hard. Mainly because I believe the organizers wanted the contestants who cannot survive hard conditions to fall out quickly. On the 5th day, I had a mechanical failure, which would put me out of the race completely. Mohammed came along, put a rope and pulled me 80 km in the desert and 150 km on a mountain road. It was 45 degrees Celsius. He sacrificed his time to help me and get me back to the camp to repair my quad. I was about to quit, because we drove from 5:30 am until 11:30 pm, with barely no food and only water. I really appreciated what Mohammed did for me. The 2nd week was easier because it was a desert race in Bolivia and Chile and we’re used to such conditions in the GCC.”

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