Eddy Abou Karam had been a champion before the 2016 season started with several achievements to his name, including the 2015 Lebanese Hill Climb Championship Group N title. However, Eddy’s dream of becoming a champion in the Lebanese Rally Championship had slipped away in the past. This year, his dream became a reality.
Eddy was adamant to start the new season in the best way possible, leaving behind the disappointment of the 2015 Rally of Lebanon in which he could not fight for the title following an early retirement.
Spring Rally, the opening round of the 2016 season, did not go according to plan for Eddy who suffered from a mechanical problem which cost him valuable time to eventually cross the finish line in 13th overall and 6th in Group N. Surely, not the result he had wanted considering he had the pace to battle for the win.
Despite their early troubles, Eddy and co-driver Joseph Kmeid kept cool and maintained their focus: the Lebanese Rally Championship is a long and trying contest.
Eddy’s fortunes turned into the better in the second round in Jezzine. Trouble-free running coupled with an impeccable performance saw Eddy finish 2nd in Group N and 4th overall.
At the Cedars Rally, Eddy executed another flawless drive and found himself on the podium for the second consecutive time as he completed the event in 2nd place in Group N and 3rd place overall. With this result, Eddy topped the Lebanese Rally Championship for Group N by a comfortable points margin.
Naturally, Eddy wanted to carry over his brilliant momentum into the fourth and final round of the season, Rally of Lebanon, and had his sights firmly set on the championship title. However, his plan wasn’t to take it easy as he also wanted to push for a class victory.
Eddy endured a difficult time in the first leg of Rally of Lebanon when a broken driveshaft hampered his progress, but he was able to nurse his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X to the finish line, which was enough for him to clinch his and Joseph’s first ever Lebanese Rally Championship Group N title and make the dream come true after 6 years of diligence and persistence.
The pair put forth their utmost energy in the second leg of the rally and got their reward in the end as they ended up winning the Group N class by finishing in 3rd place overall. Moreover, Eddy moved up to 2nd place in the overall standings of the Lebanese Rally Championship, while Joseph secured the Co-Drivers’ championship title.
Eddy and Joseph demonstrated throughout the 2016 season that a blend of consistency, speed, talent, tenacity and a bit of luck is what it takes for someone to become a champion. These achievements are not an overnight effort, they’re the product of years of dedication.
Lebanese Rally Championship Group N title, Group N class victory in Rally of Lebanon, 2nd overall in the Lebanese Rally Championship and Lebanese Co-Drivers’ Championship title… does it get any better than this?