MERC Kuwait teams out in force for return to regional rally series

FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round two

For immediate release
Sunday, March 1st, 2009


·Regulars Al-Sabti, Bin Eidan and Al-Nejadi out for local success
·Newcomers Chichati and Modakha set for Kuwait Rally debuts

KUWAIT CITY (Kuwait): Kuwaiti rally drivers have offered their full support to the country's return to the FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) for the first time since 1996, with no less than 10 teams set to tackle the event on March 5th-7th.

Officials at the Kuwait Motor Sports Club (KMSC) are eagerly awaiting the start of the country's first championship event for 13 years and club president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Dawood Al-Sabah is delighted with the support the event has received from local teams.

Several of the Kuwaiti drivers are regulars in the regional rally series, but there are at least two newcomers on the 33-strong entry list.

Mufeed Mubarak was one of the first local drivers to register his intention to take part in the three-day rally, which gets underway from the Kuwait Towers on Thursday afternoon. Mubarak was a regular in Middle East events for several years and will drive a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

Salah Bin Eidan wheels out his regular STS-backed Subaru Impreza WRX STi, new championship contender Meshari Al-Sabti teams up with Bader Al-Baqsami in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII and rookie Elie Chichati lines up alongside co-driver Naji Sfeir in a similar car. Another Kuwait Rally newcomer is Ebrahim Al-Modakha, who has Ayman Alebeed reading the notes in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.

Eid Falah and Khaled Khalifa finished fifth in last year's candidate event and have support from Rima Motors for their quest for honours in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII. Meshal Al-Nejadi switched from a two-wheel drive car to a more powerful Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX in time for the recent Qatar International Rally and the former regional Super 1600 champion will be hoping for renewed success with navigator Ahmad Al-Khrass in Kuwait.

His brother Essam Al-Nejadi also enters a ninth evolution version of Mitsubishi's four-wheel drive Lancer with co-driver Anwar Al-Sharrah. Meshari Al-Thafiri and Yousef Al-Thafiri, partnered by Fares Al-Thafiri and Mubarak Al-Thafiri, complete the impressive local team line-up.

"To make rallying a success in Kuwait we need the full support of all our local teams and it is fantastic that we have 10 drivers on the entry list," admitted Sheikh Ahmad Al-Dawood Al-Sabah. "It will be great to see them all competing against the cream of the region's rally drivers later this week."

The event is being organised by the KMSC under the patronage of Faisal Al-Jazaf, chairman and general manager of the public authority for youth and sports in the State of Kuwait.

For further information, please contact the Kuwait Motor Sport Club, PO Box 29, Salmiya, 22001 Kuwait, Tel: + (965) 253 55511 and 25355522, Fax: + (965) 253 55566, E-mail: admin@q8racing.com or q8racingclub@yahoo.com, www.q8racing.com


For further media information:
Neil Perkins, International Media Liaison Officer, 2009 Kuwait International Rally, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com, www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases)


Date issued: 01/03/2009

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