CC Saudi Arabian Motor Federation set to run Ha'il International Rally in March


For immediate release
Wednesday, February 19th, 2013


· Event runs under chairmanship of HRH Prince Sultan Bin Bandar Al-Faisal

RIYADH (Saudi Arabia): The Saudi Arabian Motor Federation (SAMF) has now finalised the dates and is working on the final route format for the 2014 Ha’il International Cross-Country Rally, an FIA-sanctioned event that will run through the north-central region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from March 21st-27th, 2014.

The ninth event of its kind will be based at the Maghwat Conference Centre in Ha’il and will continue the tradition of offering competitors the challenge of tackling some of the most difficult desert terrain in the Middle East.

The event is being staged under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Saud Bin Abdul Mohsen Bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Ha’il, President of the Supreme Commission for Ha’il Development and the Head of the Supreme Commission of the Ha’il Rally. The SAMF runs under the chairmanship of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Bandar Al-Faisal and the event is being organised in conjunction with the High Authority for the Development of Ha’il.

Entries are now open for the rally, which has been extended to a competitive distance of around 1,200km. HRH Prince Sultan bin Bandar Al-Faisal has also announced a support programme for competitors; Saudi drivers will not pay entry fees and a 50% discount will be offered to other competing teams.

“We are hoping to continue to encourage youngsters to participate in this sport and grow their experience,” said HRH Prince Bandar. “The event is officially registered in the FIA calendar as an international status rally and our team is making it harder and more difficult than in previous years.”

The event will be run by race director and SAMF general secretary Anwar Helmi and offers a wide variety of desert terrain, including gravel trails, sand dunes, wadis, areas of tricky navigation and the passing of small oasis farms.

After running as a small national event in 2006, the event gained international status in 2007 and was won by Rajeh Al-Shammeri in a Toyota Land Cruiser. It quickly became one of the most popular events in the Middle East and Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah, driving a BMW X3 CC, took the first of his two victories in 2008 when it became a round of the FIA Baja Cup.

Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi triumphed in an Overdrive Nissan Navara in 2009 and a Mitsubishi Racing Lancer the following year, before Al-Attiyah returned to the top of the podium with a factory Volkswagen Race Touareg in 2011.

Al-Rajhi won with a Mini All4 Racing two years ago and Czech competitor Miroslav Zapletal became the first non-Arab winner in his Hummer last year. Bikes and quads were also permitted to compete in 2013 and the Emirati duo of Khalid Al-Falaisi and Atif Al-Zarouni won the respective categories on a pair of Hondas.

Further information is available from the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, PO Box 87881, Riyadh 11652, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Tel: + 9661 288 5855, Fax: + 9661 288 3882, E-mail: info@samf.gov.sa. Visit the websites:
http://www.samf.gov.sa and http://www.hailrally.com.sa/ar/


For further media information:
English: Neil Perkins, 2014 Ha’il International Cross-Country Rally, International Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@googlemail.com. www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases).

Arabic: Firas Nimri, 2014 Ha’il International Cross-Country Rally, National Press Officer, Mobile: + 962 777 282000, E-mail: nimrifiras@yahoo.com.

Date issued: 19/02/2014

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