RIYADH: Saudi champion Yazeed Al-Rajhi was crowned champion of the World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas for the first time in his professional career, in the ninth and final round of the championship in Portugal.
Al-Rajhi won the in the T1 category driving a Toyota Hilux, with official partner Abdul Latif Jameel Motors, at the Baja Portalegre 500.
The Saudi world rally champion and the Kingdom’s representative in international and regional forums, Al-Rajhi, accompanied by his Irish partner Michael Orr, presented a strong season during the championship, which is supervised by the International Automobile Federation.
Following a long season that was affected by an accident earlier this year, Al-Rajhi opened the tournament by winning the Dubai International Baja title, recording his first victory during this season before the duo suffered an accident in the Al-Sharqiya Baja in Saudi Arabia in March. They went through a period of treatment and rehab sessions to recover and get back behind the wheel of the car, and as a result were forced to miss the Jordan tour.
#CrossCountryBajas - @Yazeed_AlRajhi has claimed a maiden title in the @FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas with a calculated drive to 10th overall in @bajaportalegre, the final round of the series https://t.co/omvTTOrseP pic.twitter.com/SMOb56VWIH
— FIA (@fia) October 31, 2021
The struggle for the world cup title was fierce in the last rounds, especially in Europe, where Al-Rajhi sought to regain the top spot after winning the Italian Baja title, the penultimate round of the rally.
He dedicated his victory to his country, government and people, and to his fans around the world, during a video posted on Twitter.
“I dedicate my victory of this historic title to King Salman and Crown Prince (Mohammed bin Salman),” Al-Rajhi said, adding: “I also thank Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, minister of sports and Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Faisal, chairman of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, for their continued support and I thank the great Saudi people and my fans who encourage me from all over the world.
“I am very proud to be the first Saudi to win this world title in the history of the World Cup for Cross-Country Bajas,” he said.
Al-Rajhi thanked his partner Orr for doing a great job throughout the season, and he also thanked the official sponsor.
“I feel proud and grateful to be the ambassador of Saudi motor sport, and I will continue to raise the green flag in international and regional forums and to serve my country in achieving new achievements in the world of rallying.”