MERC Yazeed Al Rajhi set to debut Peugeot S2000 in Qatar

2009 NBK Qatar International Rally
2009 FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 1

For immediate release
Sunday, December 28th, 2008


DOHA (Qatar): Leading Saudi Arabian rally driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi is set to debut a brand new Peugeot 207 S2000 in the Qatar International Rally, round one of the 2009 FIA Middle East Rally Championship, on January 22nd-24th.

The ever-improving Saudi driver won both the Sharqia and Kuwait candidate rounds of the regional series in 2008 in a Subaru Impreza, but the switch to an exciting new S2000 is another indicator that Al-Rajhi is going all out to challenge for the title in 2009. The powerful Peugeot S2000 has been built and will be run on events by the Belgian Kronos Racing team, under the management of Marc van Dalen, and Al-Rajhi will be co-driven by Matthieu Baumel.

Frenchman Baumel is planning to reach Doha directly from taking part in the 2009 Dakar Rally in South America alongside Guerlain Chicherit in an official BMW X3 CC, as a team mate to Qatar's defending regional rally champion Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah. The Dakar event finishes in Buenos Aires on Sunday, January 18th.

Kronos Racing ran the semi-official Peugeot team in the 2006 FIA World Rally Championship and guided Frenchman Sébastien Loeb to victory, before switching to several major European rallies in the International Rally Challenge (IRC). The team also won the 2003 European title with Belgian driver Bruno Thiry, the 2005 JWRC with Spaniard Dani Sordo and the 2008 International Rally Challenge with Nicholas Vouilloz.

"Yazeed will have a brand new car for Qatar," enthused Van Dalen. "It will have the chassis number 38 and has been fully-prepared for desert-type rallying and the diverse terrain we will experience in this expanding and exciting championship."

The event is being run by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) and is based at the Losail International Circuit, north of Doha.

"Ahmed Al-Sabban has been running a Toyota S2000 in the Middle East Championship in 2008 and it is pleasing to see another manufacturers' model coming to the deserts of Qatar," said Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah, President of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF). "The new car's appearance will be a great spectacle for our spectators and will continue to improve the following for the sport of rallying in the region."

Generous concessions and an assistance package are still being offered to GCC and Middle Eastern entrants. International teams will receive free accommodation (room and breakfast) for six nights in a twin-bedded room for driver and co-driver. Competitors will be permitted to check in the designated rally hotel at noon on Monday, January 19th and must check out by noon on Sunday, January 25th.

GCC competitors will also receive cash assistance to the value of $500 USD for starting the rally and finishing the first three special stages. Other Middle East entrants will also receive a similar cash incentive.
Entries for the event have now opened and will close for reduced fees on Thursday, January 1st. The final deadline for entrants will be Thursday, January 8th.
For further information about the 2009 NBK Qatar International Rally, contact the Qatar Motor and Motor Cycle Federation (QMMF), PO Box 8708, Doha, Qatar, Tel: + 974 437 9884/9885, Fax: + 974 437 9761, E-mail: info@qmmf.com and website: www.qmmf.com

Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, International Press Officer, 2009 NBK Qatar International Rally, UK Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases)



Date issued: 28/12/2008

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