MERC International teams prepare for Rally Oman 2006

Rally Oman 2006
FIA Middle East Rally Championship, round 3 of 8

For immediate release
Tuesday, March 28th, 2006


Austrian, British and Swiss teams set for Oman;
Farrah heads Jordan, Kuwait and Bahrain entry

MUSCAT (Oman): Teams from Austria, Great Britain and Switzerland will join a top class GCC and Middle Eastern entry for next week’s Rally Oman 2006, being organised by Intevents under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism, with assistance from the Ministry of Sports Affairs, Royal Oman Police, the Ministry of Interior, MOD and Muscat Municipality.

Sporting elements are being handled by the Oman Automobile Association and the FIA, while the event will be held on April 5th-7th and sponsored by Bank Muscat in association with Gulf Air and Intercontinental Hotels.

Leading the international challenge on the three-day special stage third round of the FIA Middle East Rally Championship will be the Austrian pairing of Andreas Wimmer and Michael Kolbach in their Subaru Impreza WRX STi. The pair took part in the Dubai International Rally and were also present in Qatar back in February.

Manchester-based chemist David Scialom has been a regular driver on the regional scene for several seasons and has begun to set some encouraging times in his Autotec-run Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 5. He and Andy Tatham have tackled several rounds of the championship and were a fine sixth overall in the UAE recently.

Germany’s Edith Weiss is based in Switzerland and competes in a wide spectrum of Middle East and WRC rallies. She has made a late entry for Rally Oman in a Skoda Octavia and is entered under the Damas Rally Team banner.

~While the international teams are not necessarily the favourites to win Rally Oman, it is very positive for our event and for the championship that they have decided to take part,~ admitted Colonel Salim bin Khalifa Al-Maskiry of the Oman Automobile Association. ~Our event is blessed with some of the most challenging and popular special stages anywhere in the world and this is just one of the attractions for foreign teams competing in Oman.~

Business commitments forced Jordan’s Amjad Farrah to miss the last round of the regional series in Qatar, but the former Jordan national champion returns to Oman at the wheel of a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7. He again teams up with Khaled Zakaria and heads a three-car entry from the Hashemite Kingdom, with Sports Academy driver Mazan Tantash and Ammar Hijazi also set to take part.

Kuwait’s Meshal Al-Nejadi and team mate Shaker Al-Raies are the favourites for honours in the two-wheel drive category at the wheel of a pair of nimble Citroën Saxos. Al-Nejadi has been a front-runner in the 1600 series for several years and has taken several impressive results in the Saxo, despite its power and traction disadvantage.

The Kingdom of Bahrain will, once again, be represented by Hassan Al-Sadadi in a rebuilt Subaru Impreza WRX STi. Al-Sadadi and co-driver Keith Wake survived an horrific high-speed crash in the opening round of the series in Al-Ain in January. Unfazed and undaunted, Al-Sadadi bravely built a new Subaru Impreza in time for the subsequent event in Qatar and is back in contention for championship points.

~It was a big accident and we were very lucky,~ said Al-Sadadi. ~It happened so fast and was quite frightening. But that is rallying and you must put these things out of your mind if you wish to remain competitive. Keith and I are back and looking forward to the rally. We both enjoy Oman and the stages here.~

Further support for Rally Oman 2006 comes from official communications partner Oman Mobile, leading energy drink producer Red Bull, Precision Tune Autocare, Automan magazine, Infocomm (the official WAP
Provider) and Baabood Computers.

For further information about Rally Oman 2006, contact Jeremy Alston (Mobile + 968 99269783) and Niall Polley at INTeVENTS, PO Box 268, Ruwi 112, Sultanate of Oman, Tel: + 968 24564325, Fax: + 968 24564327.
E-mail: niall.polley@intevents.com and jeremy.alston@intevents.com


For further media information:
Neil Perkins, 2006 Rally Oman Press Officer, NDP Publicity Services, NCH Building, Upper Bar, Newport, Shropshire TF10 7EH, United Kingdom.
Tel: + (44) 1952 825078, Fax: + (44) 1952 825001, Mobile: + 44 7831 123153
E-mail: NDPPublicity@compuserve.com
www.ndp-publicity.com (press releases)

Date issued: 28/03/2006

For further information or assistance please contact:

NDP Publicity Services
Holly House, Station Road, Newport,
Shropshire TF10 7EN United Kingdom

Tel/Fax: +44 (0) 1952 825001
Mobile: + 44 (0) 7831 123153 (UK)

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