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QMMF launches challenging Qatar Baja

2004 Qatar Baja
FIA Cross-Country Rallies World Cup, FIA candidate event

For immediate release
Tuesday, August 31st, 2004

QMMF LAUNCHES CHALLENGING QATAR
BAJA IN BID TO JOIN FIA WORLD CUP

Qatar plans exciting new Baja race; demanding Baja route

DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) is putting together the finishing touches to an exciting Qatar Baja, which is being observed by the FIA for possible inclusion in the 2005 FIA Championship and takes place on November 25th-27th, 2004.

Cross-country rallying is one of the fastest growing forms of motorsport in the world and the State of Qatar has not run such an event since the Qatar Baja Cube took place on the south of the peninsula way back in 1993. The car category of that historic event was won by A. Al-Thani in a Landrover 110, while the bike winner was the Italian amateur rider Marmaroli.

The resurgent QMMF is currently running at full speed to prepare the Losail Circuit for an inaugural Moto GP race in October, but the Doha-based Federation has also devised a demanding and challenging route for November's Baja event.

~These are exciting times for the State of Qatar, with the Moto GP, Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah doing very well in the Dakar and in special stage rallying and now the launch of our new Baja race,~ enthused Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah, President of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation. ~Our team has been working hard on the format and the logistics of the race for several months now. We have studied the requirements of the FIA and ensured that our event complies fully with all the guidelines.~

The 2004 Qatar Baja will start with a traditional Prologue stage on November 26th, followed by a 500 kms route across remote desert terrain in the south of Qatar, towards the border point with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on November 27th. The selective sections will offer a mixture of gravel tracks, hard packed sand, desert and several testing dune crossings.

Cross-country cars complying with both the T1 or T2 regulations will be eligible, in addition to motorcycles and quad bikes. The event will be based in Doha.

~We have put many hours of hard work into the format,~ said Clerk of the Course Malcolm Neill, a former Clerk of the Course for the Circuit of Ireland and RAC rallies and a consultant on events in Mexico, Turkey, Canada and the Middle East. ~We have received a lot of interest from European and Middle Eastern entrants, especially from Germany, the UK, Italy and Scandinavia and are looking forward to running our first international Baja for 12 years to the highest standard.~

For regulations, entry forms and further information about the 2004 Qatar Baja contact the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (Tel: + 974 4379884, Fax: + 974 4379761, Email: malcolm.neill@qmmf.com or receptionist@qmmf.com and website: www.qmmf.com. Regulations and entry forms will be uploaded on to the QMMF website on September 6th. Entries open on September 6th and close on November 12th.

Note: Italian entrants should contact Mario Ravaccia (e-mail: info@emmeerre.com), Scandinavian enquiries should be sent to Olle Ohlsson (e-mail: olle.mcsport@telia.com), while German, Belgian, French and Swiss enquiries should be forwared to Ralf Schmierer (e-mail: ralf.schmierer@t-online.de).

Ends

For further media information:
Neil Perkins, 2004 Qatar Baja Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services, NCH Building, Upper Bar, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 7EH, United Kingdom.
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: 31/08/2004

For further information or assistance please contact:

NDP Publicity Services
Holly House, Station Road, Newport,
Shropshire TF10 7EN United Kingdom

Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1952 825001
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