Khalid Al Qassimi’s first taste of motorsport came early in life when he drove a Land Rover 110 in a local rally in his native Abu Dhabi.
Khalid’s rally career formally began in 2002 when he contested his first full season in the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) and won the Group N title as well as the United Arab Emirates Championship in his debut year.
The following season, Khalid topped the Group N positions in three events and retained the UAE title, although his year ended in disaster when an accident left him with a broken vertebra. He returned to the wheel of a Subaru Impreza WRX in 2004 and eventually lifted the MERC crown after outright wins in Bahrain and Syria.
From 2004-2006, Khalid continued to perform strongly in the MERC (coming second in 2005 and third in 2006) while also competing in the Production Car World Rally Championships (PWRC). A string of consistent results in the PWRC (including third in Cyprus in 2006) led to his entry into the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team in 2007 for the second half of the season.
Over five consecutive seasons between 2007 and 2011, Khalid tackled nearly 40 WRC rounds scoring 33 drivers’ standing points.
Khalid’s best result came at Rally Australia in 2011 when he finished an impressive fifth. Khalid’s best run of WRC form came in 2009 when he started the season with three consecutive eighth-place finishes – in Ireland, Cyprus and Portugal, respectively.
In 2010, Khalid scored points in Portugal, Germany and notched a season’s best seventh-place finish in Spain to end the year in 12th place overall. In the same year, Khalid combined his WRC campaign with a MERC programme – driving a Ford Fiesta S2000. Khalid finished fifth in the drivers’ title race after winning in Kuwait and scoring maximum points in Lebanon.
Throughout his WRC career, Khalid has acted as a mentor and ambassador for Abu Dhabi emirate and been a stalwart figure in helping talented, young Emirati drivers develop their skills and hone their ambitions to drive at the sport’s highest level.