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MERC Jordanian and Kuwaiti entrants flock to Dubai Rally

2005 Dubai International Rally
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 8 of 8

For immediate release
Saturday, November 12th, 2004

LEADING JORDANIAN AND KUWAITI
DRIVERS JOIN FORCES FOR DUBAI RALLY

Dubai International Rally attracts support from fuel giant EPPCO

DUBAI (UAE): The top rally drivers from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Kuwait will take part in the 2005 Dubai International Rally, the final round of this year's FIA Middle East Rally Championship, which takes place under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Department, on December 1st-2nd.

Several of them have been championship regulars this season in the regional series and have scored points, but other Jordanian entrants will tackle the two days of gravel special stages around Dubai to further bolster Jordan's ambitious plans to become a round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

The Amman-based event will be an official WRC candidate next year and Jordanian officials are planning to host a press conference in Dubai to coincide with the running of the Dubai International Rally at the end of this month.

The Automobile Club and Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates has received Jordanian entries from the former Jordan national champion Faris Bustami and his co-driver Imad Jumaa in a new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8. Their team mates will include Ahmed Mihyar and Asef Aref in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 6 and Mohammed and Khaled Juma in a nimble Opel Corsa running in the Super 1600 category.

But the Hashemite Kingdom's best chance of victory will come in the form of Amjad Farrah and former Middle East Championship-winning co-driver Khaled Zakaria. They were deprived of a chance to move into a clear fourth in the championship by a shipping delay for their car to Cyprus last month and will be determined to set the record straight in Dubai.

Other Jordanian team mates include Mazen Tantash, who tackled this year's Jordan International Rally, and his co-driver Ziad Abu Zaid in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8.

This event will also decide the outcome of the Middle East Super 1600 category and joining Kuwaiti two-wheel drive front-runners Meshal Al-Nejadi and Shaker Al-Raies on the entry list will be two Kuwaitis tackling the main Group N competition. Meshari Al-Thafari and Mufeed Mubarak have been regulars in the series this year and will both use Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 8s in Dubai with their respective co-drivers Faris Al-Thafari and Saeed Al-Melaifi.

The organisers have also received a major boost from the recent news that fuel giant EPPCO has come on board with a sponsorship package for this year's Dubai Rally.

~We are getting to closer to the start of the Dubai Rally and I am delighted to announce that the Emirates Petroleum Company, EPPCO, has come on board as one of our vital sponsors,~ said Mohammed Juma Bin Bakheit, President of the Organising Committee. ~This is a major boost for the rally, which has seen a sudden influx of entries in recent days and has now attracted the cream of the region's rally drivers.~

The event is based at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel and has further support from Emirates Petroleum Production Company (EPPCO), the Rehab Rotana Hotel and Al-Jumeira Rotana Hotel, Gulf Commercial Group, Sky Electronics, AMD and GTS, the recovery and towing company.

For further information, please contact the ATC of the UAE, PO Box 5078, Dubai, UAE. Tel: + 9714 2284019, Fax: + 9714 2283159, e-mail: atcuae@emirates.net.ae. www.dubairally.com

Ends

For further media information:
Neil Perkins, 20005 Dubai International Rally Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services, Tel: Dubai mobile + (971 50) 3616881, UK mobile + 44 7831 123153 and e-mail: ndppublicity@compuserve.com.
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases)

and

Atala Abousaleh, 2005 Dubai International Rally, Arabic Press Officer, Dubai mobile: + (971 50) 6469853, e-mail: wisam_mm@emirates.net.ae

Date issued: 12/11/2005

For further information or assistance please contact:

NDP Publicity Services
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Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1952 825001
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