CC Qatar Federation encouraged by interest in new Baja event

2004 Mitsubishi Motors Qatar Baja
November 25th-27th, 2004

For immediate release
Wednesday, November 24th, 2004


Team Saluki's Mark Powell enters Qatar Baja;
Italian and German teams enter two-day event

DOHA (Qatar): The Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) have been delighted with the response from competitors to the Qatar Baja, a new FIA-sanctioned event, which takes place this weekend in Doha.

Qatar has one of the most forward thinking of all the world's motorsport federations in recent years and the new Baja follows quickly in the successful footseps of the inaugural Qatar Moto GP at the Losail Circuit in October. The two-day Baja has attracted two of the world's most famous off-road stars and several international competitors keen to sample some of the most challenging and scenic terrain in the world.

~We have been pleased by the response to our first new-look Baja,~ said Nasser Khalifa Al-Attiyah, President of the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation. ~We hope that this event will create its own niche in the motorsport calendar and grow in stature every year. It falls at a time of year where European teams can take part as a last-ditch test before the Dakar Rally or as a stand-alone event.~

Following on from his superb run to seventh in the overall standings of last month's UAE Desert Challenge, the UAE's Mark Powell has entered the event with co-driver Tim Ansell in the Team Saluki Land Rover Defender. Powell has built up a formidable reputation on off-road events in the UAE, where he has taken several giant-killing results, and will be looking for a podium finish when the action gets underway south of Doha at the weekend.

~Our team was delighted with our performance in the UAE Desert Challenge and we would like to keep the momentum going with a top three result here in Qatar,~ said Powell.

The British expatriate will be joined on the Baja entry list by a number of European drivers, including Germany's Sven Knorr and co-driver Andreas Lennartz in a powerful T2 Mercedes ML350. Fellow countrymen Tommy Fischer and Torston Frohlich, meanwhile, will take part in a T2 Mitsubishi Pajero.

Several Italian competitors tackled the first and only Qatar Baja back in 1992 and have been attracted to the State of Qatar again by the new-look format of the event and the promise of a demanding desert route, laid on by clerk of the course Malcolm Neill and the QMMF's team.

Leading the Italian entry is Tommaso Castellazzi in a Land Rover Defender. He is joined on the entry list by Giovanni Boidi and Eugenio Martinengo in a Mercedes 280 CE, Paolo Bertani and Paolo Chiera Di Vasco at the wheel of a Toyota HDJ80 and Luigi Giuseppe in a second Land Rover Defender.

~We want to make this year's event as efficient and watertight as possible, in terms of event safety and quality of organisation,~ said Malcolm Neill. ~We have left no aspect of the safety plan unchecked and look forward to welcoming our overseas teams to Doha for the Baja.~

The opening Prologue stage gets underway at 15.00 hrs on Friday, while the second and final section features two runs through a 230 kms selective and takes place in the desert to the south of Doha. Action kicks off at 07.00 hrs on Saturday, November 27th and finishes at around 18.30 hrs with the ceremonial podium in the city.


For further media information:
Neil Perkins, 2004 Qatar Baja Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services, Tel: Dubai mobile + 971 50 3616881, UK Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases)


Date issued: 24/11/2004

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