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Saleh and Farrah excluded from Bahrain Rally

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

For immediate release
Saturday, March 13th, 2004

SALEH AND FARRAH EXCLUDED FROM BAHRAIN RALLY

Al-Dossari up to third in series; Al-Qassimi well clear

MANAMA (Bahrain): Lebanon's Michel Saleh and Jordan's Amjad Farrah were dramatically excluded from the results of the Bahrain International Rally, the second round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, after a late Stewards' meeting in Bahrain on Friday evening.

The drivers had finished third and fourth overall in the two-day event, but their cars both failed post-event scrutineering on technical infringements. Farrah, who had set his first ever fastest stage time on SS15, was deemed to be running an engine fitted with a dump valve pipe, which had been closed off by twisting it 360 degrees. This was deemed by the Stewards' to give an unfair power advantage.

Saleh's Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 also contravened the regulations governing turbo piping and both drivers were excluded from the results by the official panel of event Stewards.

The main beneficiaries from the decision were Saudi Arabia's Ahmed Al-Sabban and Essa Al-Dossari, who rose to third and fourth positions in the overall standings at the wheel of a pair of Gary Emmett-run Mitsubishi Lancer Evolutions.

The third round of the FIA Middle East rally series takes place in Oman in April, where Qatar's defending champion Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah returns to the championship after missing the Bahrain Rally.

Final Bahrain Rally positions:
1. Khalid Al-Qassimi (UAE)/Michael Orr (GB) Subaru Impreza WRX 2h 48m 11s
2. Andreas Tsouloftas (CY)/Savvas Laos (CY) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 2h 50m 46s
3. Ahmed Al-Sabban (KSA)/Killian Duffy (IRL) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 2h 56m 07s
4. Essa Al-Dossary (KSA)/Ramzi Mansour (HKJ) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 6 3h 01m 23s
5. Ebrahim Al-Busmait (BAH)/Nadeem Mohammed (BAH) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 6 3h 11m 06s
6. Amir Arnaout (SYR)/Yousif Al-Asmar (HKJ) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 3h 11m 50s
7. Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QA)/Steve Lancaster (GB) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 6 3h 13m 42s
8. Khalid Haifaa (SYR)/Burhan Aboujoura (HKJ) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 6 3h 18m 11s

Revised overall championship positions after round 2 of 8
1. Khalid Al-Qassimi (UAE) 18 pts
2. Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (QA) 10 pts
3. Andreas Tsouloftas (CY) 8 pts
3. Essa El-Dossari (KSA) 8 pts
5. Ahmed Al-Sabban (KSA) 6 pts
5. Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari (QA) 6 pts
7. Amjad Farrah (HKJ) 5 pts
8. Abdullah Al-Qassimi (UAE) 4 pts
8. Ebrahim Busmait (BAH) 4 pts
10. Amir Arnaout (SYR) 3 pts
11. Abdullah Al-Kuwari (QA) 2 pts
11. Hamed Al-Sowaidi (QA) 2 pts
13. Khalifa Haifaa (SYR) 1pt
13. Toufic Mitri (UAE) 1 pt

1600
1. Meshal Al-Nejadi (KWT) 10 pts
1. Nearchos Nearchou (CY) 10 pts
3. Essam Al-Nejadi (KWT) 8 pts

Ends

For further media information: Neil Perkins, 2004 Bahrain International Rally Press Office, NDP Publicity Services, Ground Floor Business Centre, Movenpick Hotel, Murharraq Town, Kingdom of Bahrain, Tel: + (973) 17460000, Fax: + (973) 17460041, Mobile: + (973) 36481738 E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com www.ndp-publicity.com/press releases

Date issued: 13/03/2004

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