QMMF announces 2004 Qatar International Rally

2004 Qatar International Rally
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, candidate event
For immediate release
Monday, December 29th, 2003


New rally organising commitee places emphasis on revised safety and rescue plan

DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) today (Sunday) announces exciting plans and a revised format for the 2004 Qatar International Rally, which is a candidate event for the prestigious FIA Middle East rally championship. The event will take place on February 19th-21st, 2004.

~We have a fantastic tradition of motorsport in Qatar and Qatari Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah is the newly-crowned Middle East champion,~ enthused Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah, President of the QMMF. ~These are exciting times for both rallying and motorcycle sport in Qatar and the 2004 rally will be one of our strongest on record. We are placing a greater emphasis on the structure of the event in 2004 and special attention to all aspects of event safety.~

The QMMF has invested heavily in the new rally. The three-day, all-desert event will feature a new radio communications network - designed specifically for safety and event management - a new timing system, new stage signage, revised rescue facilities and a new organising committee, with an emphasis on upgrading all aspects of safety.

The new-look event will be based at the Intercontinental Hotel in Doha for the first time and begins with technical scrutineering and a 'super special' stage in Doha on Thursday, February 19th. Legs one and two take place in the deserts around Doha on February 20th and 21st. In a total route of around 620 kms, there will be approximately 260 kms of competitive action over 14 timed special stages.

~Around 40% of the special stages will be brand new,~ added Al-Attiyah. ~The balance will consist of existing tracks and several revised routes. Servicing will be centralised in the centre of Doha, giving the general public and spectators excellent access to the event.~

The 2003 Qatar International Rally was won by the new regional champion Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and will also be remembered for the inclement weather which affected the build up to the rally and which left many stages under water for the first time since 1993.

~There has been a massive resurgence in Middle East rallying over the last 12 months,~ added the QMMF's Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah. ~The FIA has introduced new regulations for the 2004 season, prohibiting the use of powerful World Rally Cars. This should make rallies in the deserts closer and more exciting than at any previous time in recent history and we are all looking forward to welcoming the region's finest drivers back to Qatar in February.~

Both local and international competitors can benefit from generous assistance packages, with hotel accommodation, entry fee discounts, fuel allocations and start monies available to prospective teams.

For further information about the 2004 Qatar International Rally and available concessions for competitors, contact the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (Tel: + 974 4379732, Fax: + 974 4379761 and Email: asn@qmmf.com). Website: www.qmmf.com


For further media information:
Neil Perkins, 2004 Qatar International Rally Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services,
Tel: + (44) 1952 825078, Fax: + (44) 1952 825001, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153
E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com or NeilPerkins@Eikmail.com
www.ndp-publicity.com/press releases

Date issued: 29/12/2003

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