MERC Misfer Al-Marri set to start defence of regional title in Qatar

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

For immediate release
Thursday, January 13th, 2011


· Al-Marri aims to repeat 2010 triumph with co-driver Nicola Arena

DOHA (Qatar): Misfer Al-Marri, Qatar’s recently-crowned FIA Middle East Rally champion, will begin the defence of his regional title in the Qatar International Rally, round one of the regional series, which takes place on February 3-5, 2011.

Al-Marri and his Italian co-driver Nicola Arena were the model of consistency in last year’s eight-round series and managed to score points on seven of the eight events. They moved straight into second position in the championship by taking the runner-up spot in the 2010 Qatar International Rally and shot into the joint lead by recording a similar finishing position in the punishing Jordan Rally.

Al-Marri also claimed eight championship points for finishing second behind Yazeed Al-Rajhi in Saudi Arabia’s Sharqia Rally and began to realise that claiming his maiden regional title was becoming a distinct responsibility after he took points for being the third MERC-registered finisher in the all-tarmac Rally of Lebanon.

It was critical that he finished the remaining three rounds of the series and, despite the fact that outgoing champion Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah secured a maximum 30 points in Syria, Cyprus and Dubai, Al-Marri earned six in Syria, was runner-up in Cyprus and claimed the all-important six in Dubai to seal the title by four points in one of the most exciting finishes in the regional series’ history.

“It was a memorable year for me,” said Al-Marri. “I was extremely proud to win the Middle East Rally Championship and pay back some of the support that I have received from the Qatar Motor and Marine Sports Federation (QMMF).”

The Qatari was duly honoured at the traditional FIA end-of-season awards’ ceremony in Monaco and has now begun preparations for the defence of his title in a QMMF-backed car. Al-Marri is still finalising details for his car for the 2011 season.

The Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (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. 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: 13/01/2011

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