MERC SAMF announces Sharqia Rally in Eastern Province

Sharqia Rally 2010
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 4 of 8

For immediate release
Thursday, March 18th, 2010



·         Saudi’s new MERC round given FIA World Council approval

·         First class concessions available for foreign teams

·         Half Moon Bay base for Saudi Arabia’s first MERC rally

RIYADH (Saudi Arabia): The Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF) has confirmed that the Sharqia Rally has received the full support and backing of the FIA World Council and will host the fourth round of the 2010 FIA Middle East Rally Championship on April 20-22.


The three-day, all-desert special stage event ran as a candidate for the series in 2008 and was won by local driver Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Frenchman Matthieu Baumel. It now takes its slot in the championship calendar for the first time and officials at the SAMF are putting the finishing touches to the route and the 13 timed special stages.


The rally is being held under the patronage of HRH Prince Mohamed bin Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Governor of the Eastern Province and the Chairman of the Higher Committee for the Sharqia Rally.


“Our team is finalising all the details now, but the event will again be based in the Half Moon Bay area of Al-Khobar and we will use the King Fahd sports coastal city as the headquarters for a second time,” enthused SAMF president Mishaal Al-Sudairy.


Clerk of the course Elie Semaan has confirmed that the competitive action will begin with a timed super special stage on Tuesday, April 20th. This will be followed by two days of competitive desert action over 12 special stages, totalling around 252km in a compact total route of approximately 450km. Stages will take place on Wednesday, April 21st and Thursday, April 22nd in the Al Zabnah, Al Uqair, Qaryah, A'Dannan, Ras Qaryah and Dhallum areas of Al-Khobar.


“We are looking at running three special stages each day, repeated twice,” said Semaan. “They will be similar to 2008, but we have recruited a local company to compact the stage surfaces to ensure that they do not cut up or become too damaged.”


The rally headquarters and all the special stages are easily accessible from Bahrain via the Causeway, although officials, media and competitors may also take advantage of the nearby Damman international airport.


Competitors attending from outside Saudi Arabia will be entitled to five nights at a five-star hotel (room charges only), with the driver and co-driver sharing accommodation. Each team will also receive $1000 USD in cash assistance.


Further rally and visa information is available from the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, PO Box 87881, Riyadh 11652, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Tel: + 9661 477 1035, Fax: + 9661 477 1050, E-mail: info@samf.gov.sa or Hamoud Al-Jabry, Technical Advisor, Mobile: +966 560 623436 or + 966 546 677660, E-mail: aljabri@samf.gov.sa or coolmoodz@hotmail.com.


For further media information:

Neil Perkins, 2010 Sharqia Rally International Press Officer, NDP Publicity, Services, Tel: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@googlemail.com. www.ndp-publicity.com.

Arabic: Firas Nimri, National Press Officer, Mobile: + 9662 777 282000, E-mail: firas@nimri.com



Date issued: 18/03/2010

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