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Jordan Rally set to attract strongest ever driver entry

2004 Jordan International Rally
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 4 of 8

For immediate release
Monday, April 26th, 2004

JORDAN RALLY SET TO ATTRACT
STRONGEST EVER DRIVER ENTRY

Jordan's Al-Daoud and UAE's Al-Ketbi set to return;
Saudi's El-Dossari and Bahrain's Al-Sadadi back in action

AMMAN (Jordan): Next month's Jordan International Rally, which takes place with support from Marlboro between May 20th-22nd, looks set to attract its strongest ever driver entry following the success of last weekend's Oman International Rally.

The event is being organised by the Royal Automobile Club of Jordan (RACJ) and will be the fourth round of the 2004 FIA Middle East Rally Championship. All the leading contenders for this year's FIA regional series will be present to tackle the two-leg rally, but the entry list will be bolstered by the return of top drivers from four countries, who were forced to miss the event in Oman.

Jordan's Ahmed Al-Daoud is planning to join local favourite Amjad Farrah on the entry list at the wheel of a new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. The Jordanian has tackled his home international on numerous occasions and is confident that he can match the pace of the international Group N entrants.

Saudi Arabia's Essa El-Dossari held fourth position in the series before a family illness forced him to miss the Oman Rally. Essa is planning to return in Jordan at the wheel of his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 and knows full well that he needs to pick up points quickly if he is to become the third Saudi Arabian driver in history to win the regional title - Mamdouh Khayat clinched the coveted award in 1992 at the wheel of a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth and an ART Lancia Delta HF Integrale and Abdullah Bakhashab followed three years later in a Marlboro Toyota Celica GT4.

~Essa was disappointed that he was forced to miss the Oman Rally,~ said his Irish team manager Garry Emmett. ~But he is looking forward to Jordan.~

Also returning to the series afrer missing the thrilling encounter through the Hajar mountains last weekend will be the UAE's Rashid Al-Ketbi. Al-Ketbi won a recent national rally in Sharjah and led both the UAE and Bahrain rounds of the Middle East series before retiring. He sold his old Mitsubishi in the days before the Oman Rally and will take charge of a new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution before leaving for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

~I need some points badly,~ said Al-Ketbi. ~I made a promising start to both rallies in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain and then retired.~

Along with Sheikh Jaber Bin Ali Al-Khalifa from the Kingdom of Bahrain, Hassan Al-Sadadi was a fascinated spectator in Oman last weekend. The multiple Bahrain National Champion had orginally planned to enter the event in his rebuilt Subaru Impreza. ~My co-driver Keith (Wake) and I were in Oman and enjoyed ourselves,~ said Al-Sadadi. ~But I would rather have been competing. The car is ready now and we are putting together the budget for Jordan. I like competing there and think we have a chance to take a good result.~

~By all accounts the Oman Rally was one of the most exciting rounds of the series for some time,~ said Ziad Louza, the Clerk of the Course of the Marlboro-supported Jordan International Rally. ~We are sure that the Jordan Rally will be equally as exciting. There is a general air of expectation around the Royal Automobile Club and the Middle East rallying scene at the moment and this is sure to make for great competition next month.~

For further information about the 2004 Jordan International Rally and entry details contact Ziad Louza at the Royal Automobile Club of Jordan (RACJ), Tel: + 9626 5850626, Fax: + 9626 5818131, E-mail: racj@go.com.jo

Ends

For further media information:
Neil Perkins, 2004 Jordan 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: 26/04/2004

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