MERC QMMF announces revised Qatar International Rally to get 2011 regional series underway

Qatar International Rally
2011 FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 1 of 7

For immediate release
Friday, December 17th, 2010


· Generous incentives available to overseas rally teams
· Revised Qatar event based at Al-Wakra Club, near Doha
· New special stages in Mukaynis area of Qatar desert

DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) has confirmed that the Qatar International Rally will get the 2011 FIA Middle East Rally Championship underway on February 3-5, 2011.

The event has been the traditional opening round of the series for several years and slick organisation by the Doha-based QMMF have given the event the reputation as the leading round of the prestigious regional rally series. The championship was dominated by Qatar drivers in 2010 and recently saw Misfer Al-Marri crowned as regional champion for the first time.

Officials working under QMMF president Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah have devised a new, challenging route consisting of gravel special stages in the Qatar deserts, with the rally headquarters and service area based at the Al-Wakra Club for a second successive year. The event will take place a week later in the calendar in 2011, having run at the end of January for the last few seasons.

Regulations for the 2011 FIA Middle East Rally Championship will again permit the use of either Group N or S2000 cars. The series will also adopt the WRC-type points’ scoring system for the first time with 25 points awarded to the winner, 18 for second, 15 for third, 12 for fourth, 10 for fifth, etc, down to one point for 10th place.

The seven-round series will be fought out over seven rounds, with the Qatar International Rally being followed by an event in Kuwait in March, Jordan in April, Lebanon in September, Syria in October, Cyprus in November and the final round in Dubai at the start of December.

Elie Semaan will work as clerk of the course for a sixth consecutive season and has been working hard with Al-Attiyah’s team in Doha to find a compact and challenging route for the two days of competitive action on February 4th and 5th.

“We have moved forward a week in the calendar and come up with some revisions and improvements to the rally,” enthused Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah. “The QMMF enjoyed great success in the 2010 FIA Middle East Rally Championship and we were delighted that Misfer Al-Marri and Khalid Al-Suwaidi featured so prominently in the championship in 2010. It is our goal to get the new season off to a first class start in February.”

“The stages on day one are similar to 2010, but we have one totally new one and lost of modifications to the others,” added Semaan. “Day two will take place in the area around Mukaynis, south-west of Doha, and Wehad over tracks that were last used in the 1990s. They should be twisty and challenging.

“We have three totally new specials and the terrain is undulating with technical and narrow corners. The route offers a balance of hard and well compacted ground and one stage will run close to the Arabian Gulf.”

The QMMF is offering generous concessions and an assistance package to international entrants. Teams will be offered six nights’ free accommodation (room and breakfast) in one twin-bedded room for driver and co-driver.

Entries have now opened. Reduced entry fees are available until Thursday, January 13th and the final date for registration is Thursday, January 20th, 2011.

For further information about the 2011 Qatar International Rally, contact Marie-Lou Cruz, Qatar Motor and Motor Cycle Federation (QMMF), PO Box 8708, Doha, Qatar, Tel: + 974 437 9884/9885, Fax: + 974 437 9761, E-mail: marielou.cruz@qmmf.com.qa and website: www.qmmf.com


Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, International Press Officer, 2011 Qatar International Rally, UK Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: NDPPublicity@googlemail.com
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases)



Date issued: 17/12/2010

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