MERC Jordanian drivers bid for glory on home round of regional championship
Jordan International Rally
2012 FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 4
For immediate release
Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
JORDANIAN DRIVERS BID FOR GLORY IN HOME
ROUND OF REGIONAL RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
· Five local drivers aim to repeat Amjad Farrah’s 2004 Jordan victory
· Qatar’s Al-Kuwari confident after pre-recce test session with Mini
DEAD SEA (Jordan): Five Jordanian drivers will line-up at the start of the Jordan Rally, round four of the 2012 FIA Middle East Rally Championship, to do battle alongside the cream of the region’s off-road competitors when the event gets underway from the Royal Automobile Museum in Amman on Thursday evening.
Leading the home challenge in their Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX are ninth seeds Mazan Tantash and Zeid Abu Zeid. Only one Jordanian driver has ever won the Jordan Rally in its 29-year history – Amjad Farrah was victorious with Khaled Zakaria in 2004 – and it would be a dream for Tantash to win his home event, although he is aware of the strength of the competition he faces this weekend.
Ala’a Rasheed has already announced that he is to tackle a limited programme of events in the FIA World Rally Championship in 2013 with a Ford Fiesta S2000 and the Jordanian is keen to continue his preparations with a solid performance on 16 Dead Sea special stages that lie in wait on Friday and Saturday. He teams up with Ramzi Mansour in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.
Husam Salem is the local speed test champion and set the second fastest time ever at Jordan’s renowned Rumman hillclimb behind record holder Roger Feghali of Lebanon. He teams up with female co-driver Nancy Al-Majali in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII.
Zeid and Fadi Dahshan wheel out a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X and Ahmad Mihyar and Ashraf Kalbouna complete the local line-up in a Subaru Impreza N12. Ata Al-Hmoud and Yousef Juma are also in action as co-drivers and represent the host nation alongside Lebanese driver Nick Georgiou and Egyptian Ahmad El-Kabany.
Seven-time FIA Middle East champion Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah was in confident mood at the host Crowne Plaza Jordan Dead Sea Resort and Spa on Monday evening.
“It’s great to be back in Jordan and I am set now for the last three rounds of the Middle East Championship,” said Al-Attiyah, who has a brand new M-Sport-prepared Ford Fiesta RRC for this event. “I will be first on the road on the first day, so I will need to try and set the pace, despite the fact that I am cleaning the roads. A win is a must if I am to win the championship.”
Championship leader Abdulaziz Al-Kuwari is upbeat about his chances this week. “We had a good test on Monday before the recce and we are happy with the Mini’s performance, the set-up and the tyre choice. I just hope to still be leading the championship by Saturday evening.”
Competitors complete their reconnaissance on Wednesday, before the official pre-event press conference takes place on the shores of the Dead Sea at 16.30hrs. The event gets underway with a ceremonial start at the Royal Automobile Museum in Amman from 17.00hrs on Thursday afternoon.
Neil Perkins, International Press Officer, 2012 Jordan International Rally, Crowne Plaza Jordan Dead Sea Resort and Spa, Media Centre, Tel: 962 78 8807097, E-mail: NDPPublicity@googlemail.com
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