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MERC Khalid Al Qassimi receives FIA Middle East award from HE Sheikh Nahyan

2005 ADNOC Distribution UAE International Rally
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 1 of 9

For immediate release
Saturday, January 29th, 2005

SHEIKH KHALID AL-QASSIMI RECEIVES COVETED
FIA MIDDLE EAST CHAMPIONSHIP TROPHY

UAE-based Power Horse star presented with award in Al-Ain

ABU DHABI (UAE): Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi was presented with his 2004 FIA
Middle East Rally Championship-winning trophy at a special awards'
presentation held in the Sheikh Nahyan Palace in Al-Ain on Friday
afternoon. The trophy was presented to the UAE driver by His Excellency
Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak, Minister of Education and Youth.

Al-Qassimi and his Ulster co-driver Michael Orr are currently in the garden city of Al-Ain to begin their detailed preparations for next weekend's ADNOC Distribution UAE International Rally, the opening round of the 2005 regional championship, which is being held under the patronage of His Highness Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the Minister of Interior, and starts on Wednesday afternoon. After the tradtional podium at the Hilton Hotel at 15.30 hrs, there will be a two-kilometre special stage at 16.00 hrs.

The Power Horse World Rally Team star lines up against over 30 of the
region's leading drivers at the wheel of his Subaru Impreza WRX STi, built by Prodrive in England. Standing in his way next weekend will be the 2003 regional champion Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Khalid's brother Sheikh Abdullah Al-Qassimi, the 2003 regional Group N champion.

~It is a great honour for me to be officially presented with this
prestigious FIA trophy,~ admitted Sheikh Khalid. ~This is the reward for a great deal of hard work and commitment shown by the entire Power Horse team last year. The objective now is to repeat the feat in 2005 and that means achieving a top class result on the UAE Rally next weekend.~

~Sheikh Khalid's performance last season was a major boost for rallying in the UAE,~ said Mohammed Juma Bin Bakheit, Chairman of the Organising
Commitee for the ADNOC Distribution UAE International Rally. ~He showed
that a level of professionalism and consistency was sufficient to beat the region's finest rally drivers. Coupled with the success achieved by Khalifa Al-Mutawei in the FIA World Cup and Michael Orr in the Production World Rally Chamopionship, it was a successful season for individuals from the UAE.~

Next weekend's Al-Ain-based event is being organised by the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE with additional support from Etihad Airways, the official airline of the rally, Gulf Commercial Group for copiers, Sky
Electronics for computers, GTS Recovery for Towing Services, Nissan Motors and the Hilton Hotel Al-Ain.

Ends

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Neil Perkins, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile + 971 50 3616881 or Mobile + 44 7831 123153 and e-mail: ndppublicity@compuserve.com.
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and
Atala Abousaleh, Arabic Press Officer, Mobile: + 971 50 6469853, e-mail:
wisam_mm@emirates.net.ae

Date issued: 29/01/2005

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