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Bahrain Motor Federation announces plans for 2004 Bahrain Rally

2004 Bahrain International Rally
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 2 of 8

For immediate release
Tuesday, February 24th, 2004

BAHRAIN MOTOR FEDERATION ANNOUNCES
PLANS FOR 2004 INTERNATIONAL RALLY

New Movenpick base for Bahrain Rally; Revised route format; Bumper entry anticipated

MANAMA (Bahrain): The Bahrain Motor Federation (BMF) today (Tuesday) announced plans for the forthcoming Bahrain International Rally, which will be held on March 11-12th, 2004.

The rally is the second of eight rounds of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship and takes place a mere three weeks before the Kingdom of Bahrain hosts a round of the prestigious FIA F1 World Championship at the new Sakhir race circuit for the first time.

~These are unbelievably busy times for motorsport in Bahrain,~ admitted Sheikh Tariq Bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Motor Federation. ~It is the busiest time in our history. Everyone here is so excited about the Grand Prix in April, but we mustn't lose sight of other motorsporting disciplines and we have a strong background of running first class international rallies on the island.~

The Bahrain International Rally returned to the regional series in 2000 and was voted the most popular round of the championship in only its second year. The event will feature a pair of new special stages in a two-day route, which offers 18 timed sections.

~We will run a brand new stage at Zayed town, near Manama,~ said Clerk of the Course Elie Semaan, who was the Chairman of the Stewards for the first time on the recent Qatar International Rally. ~There will also be a stage very close to the new race circuit. This will start by the Sakhir circuit's perimeter fence and finish close to the nearby airstrip.

~The stages are twisty, quite technical and should offer a good challenge for drivers. We will take advantage of the new GPS tracking system, which was introduced on rounds of the FIA Middle East Championship at the start of the season. This should alleviate the possibility of individuals straying off the designated rally route.~

Despite the fact that the defending Middle East champion and series leader Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah, from Qatar, will miss the Bahrain event to tackle a round of the PWRC series in Mexico the same weekend, BMF officials are expecting a bumper entry to descend upon Bahrain in less than three weeks. The event will be based at the new Movenpick Hotel on the island of Murharraq for the first time.

The BMF will also benefit from a 500-strong team of fully-trained marshals. They will assist with the running of the special stage event. ~We have been busily training our team ready for the Grand Prix and instructors have been flown in from Australia to support our preparations for the next six weeks,~ added Semaan.

For further information about the 2004 Bahrain International Rally and available concessions for competitors, contact the Bahrain Motor Federation, PO Box 26381, Manama, Bahrain, Tel: + (973) 1740 6444, Fax: + (973) 1740 6555, E-mail: elie@brc.com.bh or tausif@brc.com.bh

Ends

For further media information:
Neil Perkins, 2004 Bahrain International Rally Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services,
Tel: + (44) 1952 825078, Fax: + (44) 1952 825001, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153
E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com
www.ndp-publicity.com/press releases

Date issued: 24/02/2004

For further information or assistance please contact:

NDP Publicity Services
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