CC X-raid team confirms 2009 rallying programme
X-RAID TEAM NEWS
For immediate release
Thursday, March 19th, 2009
X-RAID TEAM CONFIRMS FIA CROSS-
COUNTRY RALLYING PROGRAMME IN 2009
·Trebur-based team aims to build upon Dakar potential
·Two BMW X3 CCs entered in 2009 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge
·Frenchman Chicherit joins X-raid's Russia's Novitskiy in the UAE
TREBUR (Germany): The Trebur-based X-raid Team has confirmed that it will participate in a programme of FIA cross-country events throughout 2009 as a follow up to the potential the team showed in the recent Dakar Rally in South America.
Despite the global economic downturn and the recent news that the Mitsubishi team has withdrawn from taking part on events like the Dakar Rally, Sven Quandt's BMW X-raid operation is relishing an exciting new season.
The team will enter a pair of BMW X3 CCs in next week's Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, round one of the FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies, in addition to participating in the Portuguese Off-Road Championship.
Quandt will run Frenchman Guerlain Chicherit and Swedish co-driver Tina Thörner alongside X-raid Russia's Leonid Novitskiy and Oleg Tyupenkin in the United Arab Emirates.
The team will also run Miguel Barbosa in the Portuguese series and offer invaluable service support to Filipe Campos and Bernardo Moniz da Maia.
"We are pleased to announce that we will have an exciting programme of events in 2009, starting with the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge," said team director Sven Quandt.
"X-raid proved on the Dakar Rally that we have the car and the logistical backing necessary to win the Dakar in the future and we look forward to continuing our development with two cars in the UAE over the coming days.
"These are difficult times for the global automotive industry, but I am pleased that we will be able to take part in a programme this year, in addition to supporting three cars in the prestigious Portuguese Off-Road Championship."
"X-raid proved during the recent Dakar Rally that the BMW X3 CC is a potent package more than capable of winning the Dakar Rally in 2010 and following up the FIA Baja and FIA World Cup titles that we won in 2008."
Novitskiy and Chicherit finished eighth and ninth overall for the X-raid team in their BMW X3 CCs, with time penalties costing Dutchman René Kuipers a top 10 finish on the final day of the Dakar Rally.
Three of the team's six BMW X3 CCs finished the world's most difficult rally, although Argentina's Orlando Terranova crashed out of contention for a useful finish and Dutchman Peter van Merksteijn retired after a fire.
Next week's Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge will be based at the Abu Dhabi International Marine Sports Club (ADIMSC) for the first time and gets underway from the Emirates Palace Hotel on Sunday. March 22nd.
The actual competitive action will get underway with a timed super special stage in the UAE's commercial capital on Sunday, March 22nd.
The first desert leg from Al-Dafrah will take the X-raid team to a finish deep inside the Empty Quarter of the Abu Dhabi emirate, where the event will be based for the next four days.
Legs two, three and four on Tuesday, March 24th, Wednesday, March 25th and Thursday, March 26th, feature demanding loop stages around the Moreeb Hill bivouac and pass along tricky gatch tracks, winding Bedouin trails and through the region's notorious sand dunes.
The fifth and final leg takes place on Friday, March 27th, with teams tackling a desert section between Liwa and the finish at the ADIMSC on Friday afternoon.
Further information and photos are available at www.x-raid.de or contact Yvette Theisen at X-raid GmbH, Tel: + 49 (0) 6147 204670, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.