MERC Suhail Khalifa prepares for UAE Rally challenge
2006 ADNOC Distribution UAE International Rally
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 1 of 8
For immediate release
Friday, January 20th, 2006
UAE'S SUHAIL BIN KHALIFA
PREPARES FOR UAE INTERNATIONAL RALLY
Veteran Michel Saleh relishes new rally season
ABU DHABI (UAE): The UAE's Sheikh Suhail Bin Khalifa Al-Maktoum will begin his challenge for honours in this year's FIA Middle East Rally Championship, when he tackles the 2006 ADNOC Distribution UAE International Rally, being held under the patronage of His Highness Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the Minister of Interior, on January 25th-27th.
Al-Maktoum is one of the fastest and most talented drivers in the Middle East and finished third overall in last year's regional series at the wheel of a Subaru Impreza WRX STi. This season the Dubai-based driver is taking his challenge for a maiden title more seriously and will wheel out a new Subaru at the start of the two-day event through the Abu Dhabi deserts around Sweihan and Al-Ain.
A former winner of the Dubai International Rally and a great rival of the 14-times Middle East champion Mohammed Ben Sulayem, as part of the Victory Rally Team in the 1990s, Sheikh Suhail returned to the special stages two years ago and immediately made an impact. Last year he shadowed eventual champion Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and the 2003 champion Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi on several rallies and exchanged fastest stage times with the other two front-runners on numerous occasions. Sheikh Suhail will be co-driven by Wael Marjan.
Meanwhile, Dubai-based Lebanese driver Michel Saleh and co-driver Ziad Chehab are relishing the start of the new season and will be hoping for better luck in 2006. Saleh is a former Gulf regional champion and has been rallying in the area since the series first began.
~It doesn't seem long since we rounded off last year with the event in Dubai and now we are preparing for another exciting season,~ said Mohammed Ben Sulayem, Chairman of the Automobile Touring Club of the United Arab Emirates. ~Suhail and Michel have been rallying in this region for many years and always give full commitment to their rallying. Their presence on the opening round is a major boost to the strength of this championship.~
Additional support for the 2006 ADNOC Distribution UAE International Rally comes from Finance House, the Abu Dhabi Travel Bureau, Sky Electronic Line, AMD for computers, Gulf Commercial Group for photocopiers, Emirates Computers for Nokia telephones and GTS Towing Services .
For further information, please contact the ATC of the UAE, P.O.Box 27487, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Tel: + (971 2) 6212175, Fax: + (971 2) 6321593, E-mail: email@example.com www.atcuae.org
For further media information:
Neil Perkins, UAE International Rally Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services, UK mobile + 44 7831 123153 and e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases)
Atala Abusaleh, UAE International Rally, Arabic Press Officer, Mobile: + 971 50 6469853, e-mail: email@example.com