This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services, to personalize ads and to analyze traffic. Information about your use of this site is shared with Google. By using this site, you agree to its use of cookies. Accept

Roger Feghali is a legend in Lebanese rallying. He came into this season as a twelve-time Lebanese rally champion and driving for the Motortune Racing team alongside co-driver Joseph Matar looking for title number thirteen. He clinched it in emphatic fashion, winning three of the four events driven. And in the two decisive rounds, he was driving a ŠKODA FABIA R5.

The ŠKODA FABIA R5 first competed in the Lebanese championship in the last round of the 2016 championship, when Roger’s brother Abdo Feghali drove it to second place at the Rally Lebanon. He opted to drive the car this season and after failing to finish the opening round of the season, the Spring Rally, which Roger won, Abdo took an impressive victory at the Jezzine Rally in the second round of the championship. He finished 1 minute and 8 seconds ahead of his brother in second place at that event.

Clearly, Roger saw something special in the FABIA R5 from his brother’s performance as he too then chose to drive one for the final two rallies of the season.

Roger Feghali / Joseph Matar, ŠKODA FABIA R5. Cedar's Rally 2017 (Photo: Biser3a.com / The Action Crew)

His debut in a FABIA R5 came at the Cedar's Rally, which turned out to be a fascinating duel between the two FABIA R5-driving brothers. Abdo won the opening and closing special stages of the rally with Roger winning the seven in between, but Abdo was never far behind and as they crossed the finish line of the final stage, there were just 15 seconds between them. But then as they drove to the service area at the end of the rally, Abdo’s car was engulfed in flames and while both he and co-driver Marc Haddad escaped unscathed, they were forced to retire.

As a result, Roger’s official victory margin was 3 minutes and 58 seconds, but that did not tell the whole story of a pulsating rally. But it nonetheless left Roger on top of the championship standings going into the final event of the season, the Rally of Lebanon.

Again, his brother Abdo was his closest rival, but after a hand injury forced him to retire, the event turned into a procession for Roger. In the end, he won by a huge margin of six minutes from another FABIA R5 driver Gilbert Bannout, who was himself more than four minutes ahead of the next car down the road.

Roger Feghali / Joseph Matar, ŠKODA FABIA R5. Rally of Lebanon 2017 (Photo: Biser3a / The Action Crew)

The Lebanese championship also allows points scored in hill-climbing events to count towards the championship standings. Roger didn’t compete in any of those events, but this emphatic victory - added to two previously - and a runner’s up spot, ensured Roger Feghali won the Lebanese Rally Championship for a record-breaking thirteenth time.

Roger Feghali

Roger Feghali (born 1973) has been rallying since 1996. He won his first Lebanese title the following year which started a run of four successive titles between 1997 and 2000. He improved on that winning six in a row between 2007 and 2012 and now has a record-breaking 13 titles to his name as he dominated the sport in his homeland for the past two decades. This season saw him make his debut drive in a ŠKODA winning both rallies driven in his FABIA R5 on the way to his latest title triumph.

Basic Facts

Birthdate: 20. 9. 1973
Birthplace: Wadi Chahrour
Nationality: Lebanese
The biggest successes: 2017, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997 Lebanese Rally Champion
First rally: Rallye du Printemps 1996

ŠKODA Champions 2017

Pontus Tidemand
WRC2

Gaurav Gill
APRC

Gustavo Saba
CODASUR & Paraguay

Manvir Baryan
Africa

Marijan Griebel
Europe (U28)

Jan Kopecký
Czech Republic

Kalle Rovanperä
Latvia

Roger Feghali
Lebanon

Hermen Kobus
Netherlands (ONRK)

Teemu Asunmaa
Finland

Filip Nivette
Poland

Vincent Verschueren
Belgium

Norbert Herczig
Hungary

Socratis Tsolakidis

Socratis Tsolakidis
Greece
(read on December 12)

Burak Çukurova

Burak Çukurova
Turkey
(read on December 13)

Fabian Kreim

Fabian Kreim
Germany
(read on December 14)

Simos Galatariotis

Simos Galatariotis
Cyprus
(read on December 15)