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MERC Bumper international entry for Rally Oman 2005

Rally Oman 2005
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 3 of 9

For immediate release
Sunday, March 6th, 2005

BUMPER INTERNATIONAL ENTRY
SET TO TACKLE RALLY OMAN 2005

Registrations close for 2005 regional championship;
Impressive 23 drivers register for the FIA Middle East series

MUSCAT (Oman): The strongest field of rally drivers ever to grace the entry list of a motorsport event in the Sultanate of Oman is set to tackle Rally Oman 2005, the third round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, being organised by the Oman Automobile Association and Intevents, under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism, on March 16th-18th.

This year it was necessary for drivers and co-drivers to register their intention of tackling the regional series with the sport's governing body, the FIA, and regional FIA Commissioner Derek Ledger is delighted to announce that 23 drivers and 21 co-drivers have registered for the 2005 championship.

~We had a couple of registrations come in near the deadline and now the list is complete,~ said Ledger. ~Only these drivers will score points, but we are delighted with the response shown to the registration policy from right across the region. There is also a Manufacturers' Championship and a section for Super 1600 drivers.~

The United Arab Emirates leads the list of registered drivers, with no less than six teams laying out plans to tackle the 2005 series. They are headed by Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi, Sheikh Suhail Bin Khalifa Al-Maktoum, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Qassimi and Rashid Al-Ketbi.

Five Kuwaiti teams, including Super 1600 runners Essam and Meshal Al-Nejadi, will line-up in Rally Oman 2005 and there are four Qatari registrations, led by the early championship leader Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah, third-placed Misfer Al-Marri and top female driver Nada Zaidan.

Amjad Farrah leads three entrants from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Hassan Al-Sadadi is the sole representative from Bahrain, Andreas Tsouloftas enters under the Cyprus banner, Ahmed Al-Sabban is the token Saudi Arabias entry and both Nizar Al-Shanfari and Khalid Soomar have registered from the Sultanate of Oman.

The vast majority of these teams will tackle Rally Oman 2005 in two weeks' time and they will be joined by the likes of Oman's Hamed Al-Wahaibi, the UAE's Ron Oakeley and Sadiq Fadhel and Britain's David Scialom. They are all tackling select rounds of the championship without scoring FIA points.

Rally Oman 2005 gets underway at 15.30 hrs on Wednesday, March 16th at the Jawharat Al-Shatti complex and there will be a timed super special stage immediately after the start podium.

Based at the Muscat Intercontinental Hotel, the event will then be fought out over a two-day, all-gravel stage route in the Hajar mountains. In a route of 740.91 kms, there will be 14 timed special stages over a distance of 265.55 kms.

For further information about Rally Oman 2005, contact the Oman Automobile Association, Tel: + 968 24510630, Fax: + 968 24510276 or Jeremy Alston (Mobile + 968 9269783) and Azzan Sinani at INTeVENTS, PO Box 268, Ruwi 112, Sultanate of Oman, Tel: + 968 24564325, Fax: + 968 24564327. E-mail: nick.hodge@intevents.com and jeremy.alston@intevents.com www.omanrally.com

Ends

For further media information: Neil Perkins, Rally Oman 2005 Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153, E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com , www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases)

Date issued: 06/03/2005

For further information or assistance please contact:

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