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Massive prize fund boost for Qatar Rally


2004 Qatar International Rally
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, candidate event

For immediate release
Thursday, January 15th, 2004

MASSIVE PRIZE FUND BOOST FOR
QATAR INTERNATIONAL RALLY

Event set to attract region's top rally drivers; $7500 first prize

DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) today announced a generous $30,000 prize fund, which will make the 2004 Qatar International Rally the richest special stage rally in the world. The two-day rally is a candidate event for the prestigious FIA Middle East Rally Championship and takes place on February 19th-21st.

~Motorsport is one of the fastest growing sports in the Middle East,~ said Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah, President of the QMMF. ~Qatar will host a round of the prestiguous Moto GP series in October. Rallying is also attracting massive interest in the region and our Middle East champion Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah has perfomed superbly in the gruelling Dakar Rally in Africa.

~We thought that a prize fund would attract the cream of the region's drivers to the Qatar Rally in February. Regulations have changed for special stage rallies in the Middle East this year and only Group N and two-wheel drive cars are eligible. The Qatar Rally has long been regarded as one of the best rallies in the region and we also felt that offering a prize fund would make the event even stronger.~

This year's Qatar Rally offers a revised route of around 620 kms, of which approximately 260 kms will be competitive over 14 timed special stages in the deserts around Doha. Regional rallying is likely to be the closest for many years with defending champion Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah set to return to defend his Qatar title in a Subaru Impreza STi.

Entries are expected from all over the Gulf region, in addition to teams from Jordan, Lebanon, Cyprus and the UK. The organisers are offering $7500 to the outright winner, $5500 for the second-placed team and $3500 for third overall.

Cash prizes of $2500, $2000, $1500 and $1000, $750, $750 and $750 will be awarded to crews finishing in fourth to 10th places in the overall standings, respectively.

~We intend to award the remainder of the prize fund to any other rally finishers up to a maximum of $500 per team,~ added Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah.

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

Ends

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: 15/01/2004

For further information or assistance please contact:

NDP Publicity Services
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Shropshire TF10 7EN United Kingdom

Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1952 825001
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