CC Saudi and GCC entrants prepare for punishing Ha'il Baja


(Ha’il Rally 2009…The Great Nafud Challenge), January 26th-29th, 2009


For immediate release

Friday, January 2nd, 2009




·        2009 Ha’il Baja will not count for FIA Baja championship points


RIYADH (Saudi Arabia): A host of Saudi Arabian drivers have entered the forthcoming Ha’il Saudi Baja, which takes place in the north-central region of the Kingdom on January 26th-29th. The entry will be dominated by drivers from the host nation and other GCC countries this year.


The event is being organised by the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation under the patronage of HRH Prince Saud Bin Abdul Mohsen Bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Ha’il, President of the Supreme Commission for Ha’il Development and the Head of the Supreme Commission of the Ha’il Rally.


The FIA, motor sport’s governing body, have also confirmed that the 2009 Ha'il event will not count for FIA Baja championship points because of the restriction on female competitors taking part in a motor sport event in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This means that competitors taking part in the FIA Baja series will have to wait until the Northern Forest Rally in Russia to kick-start their points-scoring campaign at the end of February.


"This decision by the FIA is regrettable, but totally out of our hands," insisted Mishaal Al-Sudairy, chairman of the organising committee. "However, we will continue to advance and improve our event which crosses some of the most challenging terrain in the world, with a view to re-entering the FIA series in 2010. We have good support from local drivers and several teams from other GCC countries have expressed their desire to compete in Ha’il.


“We received terrific feedback from several of the world’s top teams last year when we were a round of the FIA Baja series for the first time and that gives us great confidence going forward into 2010 and beyond. We have the scope in Saudi Arabia to run some of the most difficult and admired cross-country events in the world and this small set-back will not sway us from planning our future path in off-road rallying.”


Further information on concessions for international, GCC and Saudi Arabian teams 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 Ramy Atwa, ram_atwa@yahoo.com or Hamoud Al-Jabry, Mobile: +966 560 623436, E-mail:aljabry@samf.gov.sa.




For further media information:

Neil Perkins, 2009 Ha’il Saudi Baja International Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@compuserve.com. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).





Date issued: 02/01/2009

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