Motor rallying...and Shakhar Mehta and his wife Yvonne drove to one of their biggest successes?
SV Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al Otaibi flags car No.1, Datsun of Harry Kallstrom and Claes Bilstam of Sweden away from start.
SV PAN Car No.1 slides round desert sand dunes on course.
SV PAN Car No.2 Renault 5 Alpine of Frenchmen Jean Ragnotti and Jean Marc Andrie in pursuit.
SV PAN Car No.3 Datsun of Shekhar Mehta and wife Yvonne during rally.
LV Car No.1 along bumpy desert road at speed.
LV PAN Car No.3 in pursuit along same stretch of course.
LV PAN Car No.2 along desert road.
SV PAN Car No.27, a Hyandai Pony swerves perilously close to young spectators as it reaches brow of hill.
LV PAN Car No.3 leading on undulating part of course.
LV PAN Car No.1 in pursuit along same part of course.
LV PAN Car No.2 on undulating part of course.
SV Spectators at finish surround car NO.3 as it passes finishing line. (2 SHOTS)
GV Car NO.1 arriving at finishing line.
CU Mehta and wife on bonnet of winning car.
SPORT: MOTOR RALLYING
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Background: Motor rallying...and Shakhar Mehta and his wife Yvonne drove to one of their biggest successes yet when they won this year's Kuwait International Rally which finished on Friday (9 March). But second place for the Swedish pair of Harry Kallstrom and Claes Bilstam, also in a Datsun, was enough to give them victory in the overall Middle East Rally Challenge.
SYNOPSIS: The cars were flagged off at the start by the Secretary-General to the Kuwaiti cabinet, Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al Otaibi. First off was the works Datsun 160J of Swedes Harry Kallstrom and Claes Bilstam. They were successful in the Qatar and Bahrain rounds of the Middle East Challenge.
Second away from the water towers in Kuwait city was the works Renault 5 Alpine of former French rallycross champion Jean Ragnotti and co-driver Jean Marc Andrie, which was specially shipped in from France. Husband and wife teams have a rich traditional in motor rallying. Shakhtar Mehta and his wife Yvonne took second place in October's Qatar rally.
The vastly experienced team of Kallstrom and Bilstam was in front for most of the 17 stages in the two-day rally. But Mehta's Datsun was gradually making up time even though he nearly hit some camels during one of the night st ages. Ragnotti's Renault which finished third never recovered the time lost on the first day with shock absorber trouble.
This Hyundai Pony gave spectators some nervous moments when the driver momentarily lost control on the brow of a hill. In the final hours of the twelve hundred and fifty kilometres (775 miles) event Mehta's Datsun took the lead as the Swedes realised they only needed to complete the course to become overall winners.
At the finish, forty-nine seconds separated the two Datsuns. The series has boosted the company's image in the Middle East. Much of the glory went to the Swedish pair of Kallstrom and Bilstam, but victory in Kuwait also took the Mehtas to an overall second place.