MERC Jordanian duo of Aref and Djiyerian aiming for MERC 3 honours in Qatar

2017 Qatar International Rally
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 1

For immediate release
Tuesday, January 31st, 2017


DOHA (Qatar): While the likes of Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Khaled Al-Suwaidi will be hoping to claim outright honours for their home country in this weekend’s Qatar International Rally, a Jordanian crew will be striving to finish one of the region’s most difficult rallies in a near-standard road car entered in the FIA MERC 3 Championship.

The opening round of the 2017 FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) has attracted a 15-car field and two of those 30 competitors are from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Asem Aref and Musa Djiyerian hold little chance of upsetting the local drivers, but they have a very different objective on Friday and Saturday.

“I am not unduly concerned about my pace and my stage times this week,” admitted Asem Aref, a regular on the regional rallying scene for many years who made his regional rallying debut back in 1995.

“The goal is simple and that is to finish the rally in my Renault Clio and collect valuable points towards the MERC 3 Championship. I want to win the title this year and, with only five rounds this time, it’s so important that I finish in Qatar.”

The MERC 3 Championship runs in conjunction with rounds of the MERC and is for eligible RC3 or two-wheel drive saloon cars that are as near to a standard road-going vehicle as you could get. Aref’s car features uprated suspension and all the usual safety equipment but is massively lacking in power, handling and traction compared to purpose-built rally cars such as the Ford Fiesta R5 or the Skoda Fabia R5 that run at the front of the field.

Away from the world of motor sport, the Jordanian works in the world of finance, while his Amman-based navigator is a regional brand manager in the drinks industry when he is not calling out the notes for Aref on the special stages.

Last year, the pair excellent in the Jordanian national series and won the RC3 class on three occasions at the Mount Nebo, La Storia and Jordan 3rd National Rally, netting fifth, fourth and sixth overall in the process in the three rallies, although they retired from the MERC event in their home country.

This week’s Qatar International Rally is being organised by the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) and is based at the Losail international circuit.

Competitors complied with compulsory registration and administration formalities today (Tuesday) and will be permitted to take a closer look at the special stages tomorrow (Wednesday) during a crucial reconnaissance session.

The competitive action takes place on Friday and Saturday. There will be 205.16 competitive kilometres in a route of 669.84km laid on by Rally Director Pedro Almeida and local Clerk of the Course Rashid Al-Sulaiti.

Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, International Press Officer, 2017 Qatar International Rally, UK Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: ndppublicity@googlemail.com, www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases), Twitter: @LordPerkins




Date issued: 31/01/2017

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