Cypriot Tsouloftas enters Jordan Rally

Jordan International Rally - PR5
2003 FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 3 of 6

For immediate release
Sunday, July 20th, 2003


British father and son to co-drive Syrian team; Kuwait and Bahrain teams in Jordan

AMMAN (Jordan): Former Cyprus rally champion Andreas Tsouloftas is one of the latest drivers to enter the Jordan International Rally, the third round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship, which starts in Amman on Thursday evening (July 24th) and is sponsored by Marlboro.

Tsouloftas missed the opening two rounds of the series in Qatar and Lebanon to concentrate on an assault at the Cyprus Rally, his home round of the FIA World Rally Championship last month. After moving into the top 20 he crashed his Mitsubishi in the Troodos mountains, but the Lancer Evolution 6 was not too badly damaged. It was rebuilt in time to be seeded at six this week.

~I went to Lebanon to have a look around and help one of the other teams,~ admitted Tsouloftas. ~It was always my intention to take part in the championship and I will compete in the last four rallies. The championship this year is wide open and I have a very good chance. If I can take a good result here in Jordan, then we go to Syria and I am confident that I can win my home event in the Troodos in November.~

Also competing from Cyprus are the experienced two-wheel drive exponents Charis Komodromos in his Opel Astra GSi and Christos Christodolou in a Peugeot 306 GTi16. Komodromos has competing on several occasions in the Hashemite Kingdom and is looking forward to the event's return to special stages in the Mount Nebo and Dead Sea areas next Saturday.

Veteran co-driver Terry Harryman makes his return to the Middle East rallying scene after several seasons competing with the likes of Oman's Hamed Al-Wahaibi and Bahrain's Sheikh Jaber Al-Khalifa. The Ulsterman and his son Allan have teamed up together in a two-car Syrian team and will co-drive for Mohammed Hamsho and Ahmad Hamsho in a pair of Mitsubishi Lancers.

Harryman won six WRC rallies as a co-driver for Ari Vatanen between 1983 and 1985 and has been involved in numerous motorsport projects around the world. Allan co-drove for Qatar's Mubarak Al-Hajri last year before the pair parted company after an accident in Lebanon. He has been working with a Greek driver this season and took part in the Acropolis Rally.

Syria is also represented in Jordan by Bashar Abu Quora in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 6 and Ramez Al-Farra in his venerable Seat Ibiza.

Kuwait has not hosted a round of the FIA Middle East rally series since 1996, but Marlboro Team Kuwait driver Mohammed Al-Sarraf returns to Jordan this year in a Cremen-built Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7. Sarraf retired from the recent Rally of Lebanon with electrical problems and needs a top finish to kick-start his Group N championship campaign.

Kuwaiti team mate Meshal Al-Nejadi has decided to switch to the FIA Super 1600 category and wheels out a Citroen Saxo. He is joined on the entry list by Essam Al-Nejadi in a Mitsubishi.

Bahrain's hopes rest with Hassan Al-Sadadi (Subaru) and Ibrahim Busmait (Mitsubishi). Both drivers recorded excellent performances in Lebanon and are entered by the Bahrain Motor Federation under the Bahrain Grand Prix banner. The Middle East's first ever Formula One race will be the third of the 2004 F1 series in Bahrain on April 4th.

Italy's hopes rest with the well-travelled Agostino Ontano and co-driver Dario D'Esposito in their Group A Mazda 323 GTR.

~We are delighted with the strength in depth on the entry list this year,~ said Hassan Alaeddin, the chairman of the RACJ. ~There are drivers competing in Jordan from no less than 10 countries and there is strength in depth in both the Group N and Group A categories.~

The Jordan Rally will be based at the Amman Marriott Hotel and has attracted further support from Marlboro, Royal Jordanian airlines, Amman Marriott, Masar/Motorola, Toyota, Mobilecom, Samsung, Minolta, Batelco Jordan and Aramex.

For further information about the 2003 Jordan International Rally, contact the Royal Automobile Club of Jordan, Tel: + 9626 5850626, Fax: + 9626 5818131, E-mail: racj@go.com.jo.



For further media information:
Richard Breiss, MS & L, Al Moosa Tower 2, Dubai, UAE
Tel: + 9714 311 7169 , Fax: + 9714 331 4944, E-mail: richard.briess@dubai.mslpr.com


Neil Perkins, 2003 Jordan International Rally Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services,
Tel: + (44) 1952 825078, Fax: + (44) 1952 825001
E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com

Date issued: 20/07/2003

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