MERC New Saudi Rally takes shape in Eastern Province

Saudi Rally 2008
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, official candidate event

For immediate release
Wednesday, October 1st, 2008



·        Saudi’s new rally given government backing

·        Concessions available for foreign teams

RIYADH (Saudi Arabia): The Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF) has now completed the provisional route and registrations are open for the new Saudi Rally, which will run as an official candidate event for the 2009 FIA Middle East Rally Championship on November 10th-13th, 2008. Event regulations should be finalised by the end of this week.


The event is being organised under the patronage of HRH Prince Mohamed bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Governor of the Eastern Province and the Chairman of the Higher Committee for the new Saudi Rally, with the full co-operation and support of the sport’s governing body, the FIA, and the regional rallying co-ordinator and Vice-President of the FIA, Derek Ledger.


Event officials have chosen the King Fahd sport coastal city in the Half Moon Bay area of Al-Khobar as the headquarters for the event, which takes place just three days after the finish of the Troodos Rally, the penultimate round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, in Cyprus.


Amar Kadi, general secretary of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation visited the location recently and met with officials at the site that will accommodate Saudi Arabia’s first international special stage rally. The competitive action will take place on nearby gravel and sandy special stages.


Bahrain’s Elie Semaan and Oman’s Hamoud Al-Jabri have been working tirelessly with the SAMF to devise an exciting route and format for the new event, which SAMF officials hope will take its place in the regional calendar for the first time in April 2009. Both Semaan and Al-Jabri have worked on numerous rounds of the FIA rally series for many years and Semaan is a former clerk of the course of both the Bahrain and Qatar rallies.


“We welcome both international and regional participation in the event,” said Mishaal Al-Sudairy, President of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF). “HRH Prince Mohamed bin Fahd Al-Saud, Governor of the Eastern Province and the patron of the rally, has facilitated and will provide assistance to ensure the success of the event. We are honoured that he has offered to support this exciting new motor sport venture.”


Competitors attending from GCC countries will be entitled to seven days at a five-star hotel, with the driver and co-driver sharing accommodation. Flight assistance will be offered in terms of $1000 USD and $500 USD will be paid towards shipping assistance.


Non-GCC teams will be offered seven nights in the hotel on similar terms, $2000 USD towards flight assistance and $1000 USD towards shipping costs, in addition to support with visa formalities. 


Technical scrutineering for the new Saudi Rally will take place on Tuesday, November 11th and the two days of competitive action will be on Wednesday, November 12th and Thursday, November 13th.


Further information is available from the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, PO Box 87881, Riyadh 11652, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Tel: + 9661 477 1035, Fax: + 9661 477 1050 and from Hamoud Al-Jabry, Mobile: +966 560 623436, E-mail:aljabry@samf.gov.sa, www.samf.gov.sa




For further media information:
Neil Perkins, 2008 Saudi Rally International Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@compuserve.com. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).




Date issued: 01/10/2008

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